Resources for Creating an Anti-Racist and Inclusive Pilates Experience

Pilates is seen as an elitist and often even racist fitness modality. And, while most of its teachers would like to disagree I believe the past week’s protests have more than shed a light on where we can all improve in the effort for equality. And, while you might think that racism is not happening in your studio. Or that, you see all people as equal. Now is the time to take a step back and see are you creating a studio space that not only teaches Pilates safely and effectively. But also how are the studio policies inclusive of all backgrounds that might come through your doors? Is your staff or are you aware of micro-aggressions that however innocent you might think they affect the teachers and clients that come through your doors?

The problem of racism in the US and other countries may seem too big for you to fix. But, the truth is if you are doing your part in your community to create change that has a ripple effect that has no ends. And so, below please find the books, podcasts, charities, and more that you can use to educate yourself.

Side note: I’m still learning, I will always be. I am listening and educating myself as best and quickly as I can so that I can continue to use this platform for its mission-helping you do more of what you love- Teaching Pilates.

Part of being able to do more of what you love is making sure that the studio space you are in allows for any client you may attract to feel safe, welcome, and included. For you to feel strong, confident, and aware not just of learning styles but of cultural differences and needs. And, for teachers in the BIPOC community to feel safe, welcome and empowered. I know I am still making my way through these lists. But, I hope they help you on your journey to bringing more Pilates to more bodies.

Books

Podcasts

Courses/Workshops

This is in no way a complete list. And, as I find more I hope to update this. And, please feel free to post more resources in the comments below.

To my teachers out there reading this. If you see something do something. My interview guest Yunny on IG said this. And, it’s important that you stand up if you see a policy at a studio or a client whose actions are racist or micro aggression. Change happens first where we are.

To my studio owners, in these days after quarantine, it’s never been more important to make sure the culture at your studio represents the inclusivity you believe in. Now that clients are more aware of online services and follow teachers on social media you cannot afford to lose a good teacher because your policies or clients create an environment that negatively affects another person. Check out the interview I did with Kristen here.

Big thanks to those of you who sent me resource tips on Instagram and to Crooked Media who shared Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein’s list. You can see the full list here

Should You Charge Different Prices For Virtual or In-Person Sessions?

How to price your services is a question that has been asked since the dawn of the service industry. And the going advice is “look at what other people are doing and then charge the same or a little less or a little more.” Most often people charge a little less. Which is the wrong thing to do because it’s a race to the bottom. Who can charge the least amount someone will always win. But, you’ll likely be the one who loses. And then, because of CV19 every fitness, Pilates and Yoga instructor had to go virtual. And thus the imposter syndrome pricing began. Enter discounts or free sessions virtually and burnout. So, what should you charge for your services that were in-person and are now virtual?

The short answer is the same.

The long answer, you are not defined by the equipment that surrounds you. Your worth is not determined by how many Rerformers you have access to or which brand equipment you have. Your value comes from your knowledge and what you know doesn’t change based on your surroundings.

How much do you want to gross a year?

How many weeks a year will you work?

How many days a week will you teach?

How many hours in a day will you teach?

Take your gross annual desired income and divide it by the number of weeks you will work and divide that by the number of days in a week and the number of hours in a day. The answer is the lowest amount you can make in a teachable hour.

If you’re a studio owner how much do you want the studio to gross in a year? Divide that by how many weeks the studio is open and then the number of days it’s open and then the number of hours its open. The answer is the lowest amount the studio can make in an hour it’s open.

How much should you charge for virtual sessions? The same!

If your clients balk you be honest. For most of us, our bills didn’t change just because we are virtual. I still have to pay studio rent, utilities, internet etc. Even if in the future I get rid of my studio and stay 100% virtual I still have my continuing education, and bills to run my business from home.

You are a business. Not a charity!

It’s ok to make a profit from helping people feel better.

Do you need that repeated?

If I sound like I am on the pulpit I kind of feel like I am today. I just finished leading our webinar for our AGENCY MINI program which leads people to our AGENCY program that is an ongoing coaching group. And, this question kept coming up. How much should I charge? Even after we did the whole formula. I believe businesses can thrive during this time. I believe people are spending money. You don’t have to discount your already priced too low services. You need to find your people who will pay what you’re worth and value what you offer.

So, what is your lowest hourly rate?

Is that something you’re charging now?

Is it higher than what you’re charging now?

Do you need support for this?

You can check out my course on “how to raise your rates” and “talking to your ideal client.” And, if you want more ongoing support then check out AGENCY. It’s hard to do this business thing alone. You need a community that reminds you when you’re down how much you’re worth.

xx~LL

Short Cuts to Getting Clients, Getting Paid and Getting Known

Before when you were busy teaching, studying, running around from class to class, studio to studio or client to client it was easy to put off making that website, writing that blog or newsletter, and launching that new product or service. Now, you have time. So, with that excuse removed what is really keeping you from doing the thing you’ve been wanting to do? Let’s explore some short cuts to taking messy action and doing what you have wanted to do “when you have more time.”

Website: Look I am a massive fan of a good website. I absolutely believe you should have a website that allows you to take emails, schedule your clients, take the money!!! And really share your expertise. But, if you don’t have a website already and are in a pinch for cash to build it then here are some options:

  • A templated website like those you see on Squarespace etc.
  • Buy the URL and hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to put your virtual class times, Venmo info, and a contact form.

Keep in mind these will be stopgaps but social media can only take you so far. Google cannot crawl your insta stories. You need a website. It needs to have key info so you can be found. But today with the support of contractor services like those on Upwork and even videos on YouTube you should make getting something online that you own priority!

And, for more info on what your website needs check out this course with a website developer who happens to be my husband but it will get you started with all the SEO you need to know.

But seriously, seriously, you need a website!

If you already have a website you’re congrats. Do a “walk through” of it and make sure its up to date with what you are offering now and what you want to be offering. 

Money: So you don’t have a scheduling system? No worries! I get it. They cost money and you might not be in a place to invest in that right now. Or, you might be needing to cancel yours but not sure how to take the money! Venmo, Cash App, Google, and Apple Pay, as well as the old go to Paypal and Stripe, are at your assistance.

(side note Venmo is not supposed to be used for businesses)

You can post about your virtual pop up and put your info for getting the money and then when they pay you can send them your zoom link! Yes, there are fees to some of these options. But, that’s something you factor into creating your prices. You are not a charity nor a hobbyist. Having a business means there are fees, taxes, and bills. And, that’s honestly ok! In fact, it will help you stand up for your worth because you have to make sure you have enough to cover your needs and the bills that come with it.

There’s no reason to make taking money complicated. If you’re sitting there trying to figure out how to let people’s friends take a class or session with you have them send you the money through one of these apps. Keep it simple!

Marketing: If you don’t talk about who you are and what you do people will not find you. Especially right now. There is a lot of noise out there. And, you can’t just post one time and then think “well no one signed up so just gonna quit.” Or, worse sulk and think you’re not good enough. NO! You have to tell people who you are and what you do 7-17x before they check you out. yes, that many!

Start with those who know and love you. Tell them what you are doing, why you’re excited, and who it’s for. Invite them and ask them to invite their friends. Ask them to share it with their friends via text or email. Seriously, get that old school. The people who already know and love you will do a way better job than the algorithm. As you teach them and get them excited snag their testimonials, ask them to post, get that “user-generated content” aka social proof.

Sure, we are more online than ever before but you don’t have to be getting peeps from all over the world to know you first. You start close to home and then allow the referrals to bring you out further and further.

People want to hear from their friends who they should be taking from. How can you get their friends to talk about you?

And, also be shameless. Seriously, talk about what you are doing more often than you think and then talk about it some more!

Tell stories! People love stories. How can you talk about why you rock with a story?

I’m gonna stop there because those are the 3 areas that everyone gets stuck and then says they couldn’t do x because they didn’t have y. Well, if you have a landing page with your offerings on it and are talking about your classes and sessions and able to take the money then you’ve got the basics covered. Then when you’re feeling like you have some money flowing in we gotta invest it back into your business so you can continue to grow.

Which one of these areas will you be starting with?

xx~LL

PS my AGENCY MINI program is back! May 11th-17th Brad and I are giving you 7 days of what AGENCY members get with coaching, webinars, a private group and a group coaching call. Get more info about it here. It’s $22 if you sign up before May 6th and the entire week is valued over $400. What are you waiting for?

Why You Shouldn’t Discount Your Services

Depending on where you live in the world the date your competitors started teaching for free may differ from me. But, for now, we’ll agree that sometime in March the fitness industry and especially many Pilates teachers started teaching live workouts on every social media platform they could and doing it for free. In fact, the morning after my studio was closed indefinitely I felt like every teacher in the So cal community who used to charge $20+/class and had a waitlist started teaching for free. EVERYWHERE. And, not only did this leave them exhausted it also left them more worried than those I know that didn’t do this. In fact, discounting your services or offering them for free not only will hurt your bottom line it will leave you fill drained and on your way to burn out. Why? Let’s review why discounting hurts your business and some things to do instead.

First, discounting your services not only leaves you taking home less than what you need. And, lets get real, were you charging your worth before? Were you? Probably not. So, now not only are you making far less than you were before which already wasn’t enough to have a runway to get through this unprecedented time. But, you’re also telling people that what you were charging before was likely too much. And, when we are on the other side of this how will you go back to your pre-rona prices?

Second, Your business bills didn’t get discounted. So, now you have to teach even more just to make the same amount. And, yes, while people now have more time than before to workout they are still not picking up the phone and trying out a random teacher. They are taking the classes they did before even if it’s been a year or two. Or, they are asking their friends. So, you need to be nurturing your current clients and asking them to help you get their friends to class. But, if you discount your services to get these new clients in its not rewarding the loyalty of the clients who love you and want to support you. Also, you’re left with the issue of raising your prices on these new clients when “life goes back to normal.” Something very few teachers enjoys doing.

Third, most people are not researching “discounted Pilates near me.” Or, “free Pilates.” They literally are asking their friends and then looking you up online. Even more of a reason to have a stellar website for when they stalk you. So, discounting your services doesn’t bring you a slew of new clients just because you put a slash through the price.

Fourth, and maybe one of the more important reasons, when you discount or offer for free you definitely make it harder for every other teacher in your community, and the world to charge their worth. When you discount your work you devalue it. Devaluing the amazingness of Pilates doesn’t mean you’ll have more. It means everyone will have less. Why would anyone want to do a workout that lacks confidence in itself to charge its worth?

So, what can you do instead of discounting your work?

Take this time to get your business organized. Go over all your website copy, your social media bios etc. Are you talking to your ideal client? Are you telling them how you help them? Why they should work with you?

Evaluate how people can work with you. Maybe you used to sell 10, 20 or 30 packs of sessions. Maybe you keep your prices the same but you change the size during Covid 19 times only. For example, if you normally charge $1000 for a 10 pack of privates you charge $300 for 3 or $500 for 5. They are still paying the same price but less at the front end. Be clear that this is for this particular period of time. I stopped selling my ten packs for now because the reality is myself or my clients could get sick. I wanted to have less sessions on my books to have to worry about owing people. So, my clients pay one at a time for classes (they pre-pay) and they pay either a single session price that is more than a 5 pack session price. But, the 5 pack is at the cost of my 10 pack.

If you were doing only privates maybe you teach duets or semi’s and everyone can pay a bit less for the session but you make more for the hour. This is a great way to start to work less and make more! Everyone wins there. (All examples are considering virtual sessions but keep these in mind for when you are teaching IRL).

It’s a CV19 world! You can change your offerings, schedule and how you teach clients to however WORKS FOR YOU! But, that doesn’t mean you’re worth less just because you are teaching less or not teaching in your studio.

Focus on the VALUE. Take the time to go through all the testimonials. What do clients say about why they take Pilates or fitness with you? People don’t care about Pilates or Barre or HIIT. They care about how you help them. The value you bring to their life which they pay you for with money. You teaching them =energy. They repay that energy with money aka energy. But, you have to tell them WHY YOU! What do you offer them (that’s not a discount).

LOVE YOUR SELF! If you take this time to do some deep self-work, why you do matter? Why you are worth charing more etc.? You will see massive growth in your business when we are on the other side of this. Maybe you need to see a therapist right now or read some books that will help you see how amazing you are and help work through whatever is causing you to feel like you need to discount yourself or teach for free to be relevant. We have been given a gift to get to know ourselves more than ever. That famous quote “Wherever You Go There You Are” has never been more true. Do not try to run from this time. Instead, dive in deep. What do you want out of life? How can you use this time to create the space to make that happen?

My fitness pro, I freaking love you. Prior to CV19 I saw what discounting services did to many peoples businesses. It wasn’t pretty and it doesn’t work. If you base your business of a price and that’s your focus for getting clients it will be a race to the bottom. Someone out there will always be able to go cheaper than you. Focus your efforts on who you want to serve, why your rock so much and charge your worth. You’ll be able to thrive on the other side of this.

xx~LL

PS if you need to talk more about this please contact me for a coaching call or join AGENCY and get the support of an entire community!

8 Questions to Answer Before Creating a New Offering or Service

Creating income multiple income streams is essential in most businesses no matter the market you’re in. But, right now, during the time of CV-19, if you already had multiple revenue streams you might not be in as bad a position as those who had only one or maybe two income streams that might not be viable during this time. For example, if you made an income teaching private clients in their home and now in a “shelter at home” world you can’t go to their homes you likely lost all or a huge chunk of that income stream. But, if you had other income streams or if you can create other income streams you will be in a better position during and after this CV19 world. But, how do you know what those streams of income should be?

  1. What are people asking you for?
  2. How much could you make by answering this question/need?
  3. Do you need to hire, buy, obtain any other products, services, waivers, property or skill to do this?
  4. What do you think you could charge for this offering/product/solution?
  5. How many people do you know for sure would buy this?
  6. How much time do you think it will take you to create this income stream and keep it going? (then add more).
  7. Do you want to do this?
  8. When you look at your future is this product/service/solution in it?

I have a lot of ideas on a daily basis. I often say my superpower is ideas. I am an ideas machine. But, not every idea I have is a good one. And, even if it is the barrier or cost to enter and the amount of time it would require of me may not make that idea one that works for me, my business or my future vision.

My husband and I wanted to have a podcast years ago around helping people find their perfect mate. We wanted to share our story and other people’s stories from meeting to marriage and beyond to inspire people to see that there isn’t a perfect way to meet your mate. But, we couldn’t figure out how we were going to make the money on it. We knew that sponsors would come in the future. So, were we ok with doing at least one season without a sponsor?

And, then, if we answered the questions above-

Were people asking us for this? Yes.

How much could we make by answering this call to action? No idea yet.

Did we need to hire people? Not necessarily. We had the skills and tools to record, edit and upload.

How much could we charge? podcasts are free to listen but you can charge for ads based on people who listen…still no idea what that amount could be.

How many people would for sure listen? Our family and friends.

How much time would this take us? Season 1 12 episodes, 1 hour each, plus the time to write and edit. Looking at least 24 hours to put together.

Do we want to do this? yes, but, it would take us away from other projects.

Is this in our future? hmmm. maybe.

Do you see how this idea while answering a lot of people’s curiosity and questions isn’t likely to bring us an income in the near future? Now, if it took off who knows maybe we could have had a tv deal, a reality tv show…I mean the sky is the limit. But, the cost to enter was a lot of our time. And, if we think about time as money it wasn’t exactly the best project to take on in place of another one.

As you think creatively about different things you can do for you, your current clients, people you know, first you must make sure people are looking for that. Are you solving a problem? And then, how will you get paid? How much time will it take you? Are you better off using that time to do something else?

The devils advocate to multiple streams of income is, could you instead do a bit more of what you’re doing and instead of filling up your other hours of the day with more work what if you enjoyed some time doing nothing?

If you were teaching in people’s homes and now you can’t can you teach them virtually for the time being? Invite the clients you already have to take and also to let their friends know they can take. Maybe, when you’re back in homes again, you can maintain their sessions when they travel or you travel because they are used to virtual? Maybe you end up with clients from all over and you teach in person and online?

Sometimes multiple income streams appear on their own by you doing what you do best!

If you’re struggling to decide if you should be filming content, where to host it, post it? Or, if you trying to figure out your pricing in this virtual world please check out my blog on income streams here and on teaching virtually here.

I know this is a scary time. I know you’re trying to figure out how to make a living during this chaos. Or even post this chaos depending one when you read this. But, please know that your greatest strengths and your future dreams are the best filters. And, making decisions in a reactionary or fear-based state might have you wasting a lot of time and resources aka money on projects that are not best for your business.

So, yes to having multiple offerings or income streams if you can find ones that allow you to get closer to where you want to be.

xx~LL

How Much Should You Charge For Virtual Sessions?

Like it or Loathe it online teaching is here in full force. Studios across the world are closed or in limited operation these days due to CV19 and if you’re in a position like me it’s indefinitely closed. And, now you’re faced with either going online or not teaching at all. Teaching is your gift, your outlet, your dream and for almost all of us our livelihood. So, how much do you charge when you go from in-person sessions to Zoom, Skype, etc sessions?

For those of you who have been reading my blogs for some time, following me on IG and are in my AGENCY group you know how adamant I am about knowing your numbers. Knowing how much to charge for your offerings in general. This time may feel different in the world but the difference in how the world feels does not mean you throw your numbers out the window. Or, that you need to charge what everyone else is charging. Or, discount yourself. To know how much to charge you need to know your numbers. Here’s how to figure out yours:

How much do you want to gross in a year?

How many weeks a year will you realistically work?

How many days a week will you work?

How many hours in a day?

Take your annual gross divide it by the weeks you’ll work, divide that by the days you’ll work and then divide that by the hours in a day. The answer is the lowest you can go for your hourly rate.

So, how much do you charge for your virtual sessions? The amount you got above is a good starting point.

It’s also the starting point for IRL sessions. I know you’re thinking everyone is doing all these free lives and offering deep discounts. But, when you start teaching virtually and your clients start taking virtually you all will see and feel that virtual is anything “less” than real life. In fact, it’s harder!

And, you need to use this time to be planning for how you want your business to be operating when we are allowed back in our studios.

Discount your time now and it’s harder to charge more for it later. Your LIVE time is the same no matter if you’re in a studio or behind the camera.

If people cannot afford your privates now is a great time to group people off in duets and semi-privates. They can save on the hour, you make more for it and you can work less. This way you do not discount your time. Also, when we are back in the studio if a client is traveling they will likely book their online private session. But, if you discount it now, how will you handle it in the future. Are you going to refund them the difference when they are running late and decide to do their session from home? No, you’re not. So, maintaining your prices but offering options for people to share the session with one or two others can help them “save” on the session. And, they can invite their friends, family or co-workers to these virtual sessions. And, now! Check that out you’re growing your client list!

What about class prices? I am getting this question a lot. Especially from people who either never offered Mat Pilates classes or if they did they offered them at a discounted price from equipment. In my opinion, all classes should be the same price in a studio. Pilates on equipment or off is the same value. But, since we can’t go back in time and change your set up I recommend going back to the equation above and having a baseline price to go off of.

 

Let’s say your baseline hourly rate has to be $100. Look at your client list. How many can you guarantee will show up? 6? 3? 10? Your challenge is to get honest with the number of people you know will show up. And, that minimum should cover your costs. AKA gets you to that baseline or above it. Then everything over that is bonus. And, during a time like this making up for the hours you are not working anymore.

So, before you load up your schedule with 10 live virtual mat classes consider having 6 and making the equivalent of 10.

I know you’re scared. I know this is weird, bizarre, upside down and you’re worried. Havard Business Review wrote a great article about how what we are feeling is grief. So, please definitely feel your feelings. But, now is not the time to discount yourself so that you feel like you’re working. Being busy does not equal being in business.

Your clients WANT to SUPPORT YOU TOO! They need us now more than ever. And, I am not saying you need to exploit that. No, not at all. But, they need you to more than survive this period of time. Your clients need you to be able to teach, be in business when we are able to go back outside and into studios.

So, how much will you charge for your virtual sessions?

If you’re still struggling with how to streamline virtual sessions, wondering about different platforms, taking payment, lighting and more my webinar on “how to lead virtual sessions and classes” is now a course. It’s helped so many studios around the world entire this online world.

Remember, you are the only person who can teach the way you teach to the people you are supposed to teach.

xx~LL

What If You Have to Cancel?

Cancellation policies are a must. In fact, if you do nothing more when you set you your business but charge your worth and have a cancellation policy you will likely do better than most businesses who have don’t have that but have a business plan. And with a virus spreading across the globe there will be few who are not faced with the question of canceling a session, workshop, event or something like it. So, what do you do if you have to cancel?

To talk about how to end something we need to talk about how to begin it!

You need a cancellation policy. This is a must and if you roll your eyes or want to stop reading please follow to the end. Your policy will be challenged. And, it’s only as strong as you uphold it. When it comes to your sessions you need to have a policy that not only protects you but the other clients as well. And, when people ask to not be charged the late cancel this is your moment to train them. So many teachers fear this moment. But, this moment is key. If they are someone who is likely to cancel all the time they will learn from the get-go that they can you are simply going to charge them. If you haven’t been upholding your cancellation policy then times like these are going to be really hard for you. Because, of course, you don’t want people coming if they feel sick right now. Those who were already upholding their policy have clients trained to cancel early.

For events, workshops, retreats: there is a lot to think about when it comes to a cancellation policy. There are more expenses to these. Many are not insurable if they don’t happen. Payment in advance holds people accountable. But, what happens if they need to cancel. Did you put in your T & C’s what their options are? You may have different policies depending on how far out in advance the cancel. Or you may have a flat no refund policy. This is absolutely fine. I got to many amazing events that are expensive that have a zero refund policy. And, they won’t let you transfer to the next one. However, many will allow you to transfer your spot to someone else by a certain date.

For my retreats, we have a no refund policy, non-transferable to another event or retreat. However, we do allow people to send someone in their place.

I highly recommend you speak to your attorney who drafts up your waivers and contracts to help you verbalize your cancelation policy. This is not something you want to copy off the internet.

Ok, now that we’ve discussed briefly you having a policy in place for your clients and customers. That you will promise yourself to uphold!!!! It’s time to discuss what happens when you have to cancel.

In your business, I hope you never have to cancel more than a session or two. This will not be that costly in the end. And, it’s super easy to own up to. Fewer people are let down. I used to have a policy with my clients that if I late canceled on them I owed them a session. This helped them see that I treated me canceling on them as highly as them canceling on me. It also allowed me to emphasize how much them coming to their session sick could cost me. While only costing them a session if they got me sick I might miss an entire week of work.

And that system y’all worked for quite some time. Because I rarely got sick. But, with travel and meetings, my schedule has become increasingly busier. So I changed it. If I can provide them a sub then I don’t owe them a free session. They don’t have to say yes but it does solve me having to ever work for free. And, I let them send a friend in their place for their sessions too. I highly recommend this option for studios where there are multiple teachers. It is great for you, the other teachers and the clients too.

But, let’s say you have to cancel a workshop or retreat. If you had a cancellation policy in place you would have ideally put in that you can do this. And, what happens if you do. This is key. You hope you never have to but what if you can’t get to where the event is? What happens if a storm tears down your retreat space? What about “an act of God?”

You cannot control everything. So, having things put in place that you can fall back on or refer to is key. And also provides you with an out.

When canceling: Apologize. It is an inconvenience to your attendees too. Yes, it’s going to cost you money. Even a lot. But, they were just as excited to attend your thing as you were. Yes, you may have spent a year planning, marketing and selling it. And, you’re losing all that time and their money and likely more with fees, flights, reservations you cannot get back. But, they too have been planning their life around your event or workshop.

Own it.

Hold space for them as you would hope they would do for you.

Be mindful of what you post on social media about it. Your emails/calls/text canceling may have been beautifully articulated but if you then go to social and moan about it people see that. You are going to be sad, frustrated and more. That’s ok. But your attendees will also. And, when you do have another event you are going to want them to want to try again. Have a friend you can cry to the old fashion way. It is important you feel your feelings.

Make sure refunds happen as timely as possible. Let people know when to expect them. Be as communicative as possible. Yes, I know you’re losing money and you’ve got tons of other things going on. But, it’s super important that you remember they only know what you tell them.

If you handle canceling with as much grace, professionalism, kindness, and humaness you will be able to rise up again. You will. It might not feel like it in the moment. And, you might not want to. But, know that people will always remember how you made them feel. And if while canceling you can make them feel loved and seen they will remember that and be more excited for your next adventure.

Go check all your cancelation policies for all your things! Don’t wait. Do it today. It’s going to save you maybe even your business.

If you need help and support at this time please contact us here. We have been collecting best-written emails for not canceling and for canceling events. And, while we hope to not cancel a single event on your calendar this year. There are no guarantees for us either. And, while it would cost us more than any event took in to cancel we have policies in place for if/when we have to ever make that decision. And we want that for you too.

xx~LL

Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Business

Social Media has made it clear it’s here to stay! It’s also done a very good job keeping our potential and existing client’s attention. And, its omnipresence in our lives can make you feel like you need to have thousands of followers (to get the swipe up feature) or the blue checkmark. Or, if you just find the perfect caption or hashtag then your classes will be full! Maybe you’ve considered boosting a post because it could reach 31,000 people and that would be epic…it’s only $12.00….stop! If you’re a small studio, home studio or solo instructor you likely will never need or benefit from a boosted post. And, for all Pilates teachers, social media can be super helpful. But, is it the means to the vision you desire? Probably not. So, here are some tips for using social media for your business without wasting your time.

  1. You need to have a place to send people back to. aka a website. If you don’t have this yet then all the followers and likes in the world will not be able to actually give you money, know how to work with you. And, if the platform you’re using goes down one day you SLO.
  2. Social media is about being social. Posting and ghosting is sooo 2015. But, scrolling, “like pods” and 30 hashtags a post does not give you the ego boost…I mean..post algorithm boost you’re looking for anymore. Engagement is what matters. So, when you post create content that people want to engage with. Then go be engaging in other’s posts. Read- People who you want to see why you rock. Which is hard if you don’t know who your future client is on IG or FB then finding them and commenting on their posts can be tricky. But, that would be the more strategic way to get people to find you and see why you rock.
  3. Search engines don’t read your posts so be sure to put all your expertise on your website (which the search engines do read) and then share that awesomeness on your social where people might click through from your website.
  4. Go find your peeps and engage with them. Yep, I said that in #2. It’s that important.
  5. FB ads are super great if you can afford to “pay to play.” But, since most of us really only need 20 good consistent clients and studios about 100 give or take. The amount of money you’ll spend A/B testing which ads of awareness work and then getting those to come in to actually use your space it’s likely at best a wash if not a loss leader. I’m not saying it doesn’t work for some. But, if you don’t have pixels to do retargeting campaigns (which you can’t do for boosted posts) then that money is mostly going down the drain.
  6. Think about how you use social media as a human. What do you click on? How often do you need to see an ad of something before you click? Do you buy workouts through ads? If so what did the ad say, promise? Look like? What posts get you to like, comment or even follow?
  7. Are you hanging out where your client is? Many of you are all over IG but your client might be loving living in FB and in its groups. You don’t need to use social media for your business but if you’re gonna you want to use it where your people are.
  8. What do you help people with? Yep, people don’t care what time your class is as much as they care how you help them. It sounds rude but it’s true.
  9. Set a time limit on yourself. Social media posts creations, scrolling aka consumption is a total time suck. And, the ROI is not as good as referrals from the clients you have, organic searches online (must have good SEO which means you must have a website) and in-person interaction. Yes, you can get a client to meet you while you’re walking down the street.
  10. Know your goal! I have tons of clients I coach who do not use social media at all for their business or even their life. I have other friends who dominate their goals because of it. If you’re unsure if you should be using social media share your goals below or contact me here and let’s talk about it.

I’m a fan of social media! Yep, I so am. But, I rarely post on my personal FB profile. I mostly use it for connecting with you, and other Pilates lovers and teachers around the world. I have met some of the best friends in my life because of it. And, yes, workshop and online clients too! But, Social Media can also cause insecurities, loss of time towards doing what you love for the clients you love. And, I also think makes people think they need to have all these followers that truly don’t mean anything for most of us.

When you post on social if you’re lucky 1% of your followers see your posts. And, if those random less than 1% comment enough soon enough then the algorithms deem it “viral” and then they send it to about 6%. Yep, that’s right. So, think about it. How many people is that? I bet you could email, call, text, personally dm or go meet outside as many people in less than a day and actually get responses back from those in your community who could actually take a class or session from you.

My ask of you is to focus first on your website. How does it tell those you are trying to serve that you’re the best for them. And then, how can you use social media to drive traffic to your site and ideal into your schedule?

xx~LL

PS: I go over social media tips and the newest things you need to know daily in my online coaching group AGENCY as well as in coaching calls. If you want more support in this area then check out the only community that supports teachers on their business from apprenticeship to 30+years of teaching.

How to Prepare for a New Client

First impressions are important. And, when it comes to a new client engaging with you or your studio it’s even more integral. When someone comes in for their first class or session 60% of the decision to start a new fitness regimen is made. All you have to do is help them decide that it is you. Here are my tips for scheduling and teaching a new client.

  1. Make it easy for them: Is it clear on your site what to do next? How to schedule? What you offer?
  2. Tell them what to do: Don’t offer them all the times in the world you have or ask them when they want to get started. Train them from the beginning to schedule their life around Pilates with you.
  3. Have a “what to expect” email: Whether they sign up over the phone, email or via text be sure to send them an email that tells them your policies, what to expect, wear, park etc..
  4. Know their why.
  5. Forget about selling Pilates. They just need to trust that you’re the person who can help them.
  6. Follow up even if they said they don’t want to do Pilates. Send them a thank you note.
  7. Remember that their first package is still the courting process. Hold them accountable to their sessions, consistency and goals.
  8. Train them how to treat you and the studio. If your policies are broken you have to uphold them. It’s not a fun convo but it’s most important in the beginning.
  9. Don’t take things personally. Whether a client loves Pilates, doesn’t, late cancels or quits it’s not personal. Read the 4 agreements. You’re not for everyone and that is ok.
  10. Know when you want to teach, where and whom. It’s your business and you’ll get more clients that inspire you when you’re clear on these things. Not everyone is for you and that’s ok.

It’s easy to get caught up on selling Pilates or the training  to the new client. But, the truth is you are the guide. Your studio is the community. If you are clear on who you are for, what you offer it makes it easier for your future clients to decide on you too. And, then help them out by making sure your site, how you schedule them and prep them makes it easy for them to know you are the expert at what you do.

For more tips on first time clients check out this blog and this course. For coaching on converting first time clients for you or your studio contact me here.

xx~LL

Are You Making One of These Mistakes? It is Costing You Money

In a day when it’s easy to compare your “work in progress” to someone else’s curated posts, it’s easy to think that you should be doing what the other teachers and studios are doing. But, if you are making one of these choices below you are most likely giving money away.

  1. Using other studios rates to set yours: Do you know if they are being profitable? When was the last time they raised their rates? There is an equation for creating your average hourly rate and it’s much more strategic and puts you more in control of your business and how much you will make.
  2. Offering too many options: It’s easy to think that you need to have classes because everyone has classes or that you need to have memberships because a lot of people have memberships. But, the truth is you need to have options that make you excited to talk about them and only a couple pricing options to make it easier for clients to make a decision. Donald Miller, an expert marketer says “you confuse you lose.”
  3. Pricing out services or workshops then seeing how much money you make. Start out with what you want to make and then figure out how many people you need to make that amount. Does it sound do-able? If not then what would? Much easier to know that all you need is 15 people to make your goal rather than blindly selling and hoping you make money.
  4. Not saying “No” enough. Scarcity is ok! It’s good to be in demand. And, it’s even healthier to put yourself and when you work the best first.
  5. Putting your marketing efforts off in exchange for other admin. Find time in each workday to “propel your business forward.” The admin will always be there.
  6. Creating one or two posts about your classes or workshops and thinking that is marketing. Social media is an extension of your business but it’s not going to replace the in-person and referral efforts you can make in your community.

If you are doing any of these and want to find a way to change that contact me here. Or, join my online community where asking questions, getting advice and support is happening 24/7. Tired of making guesses to build your business? You’ll love this space.

xx~LL

My Best Advice For New Pilates Instructors

Recently in an interview, online a viewer asked me one of my favorite questions “What is my advice for new Pilates Instructors?” I love this question because I wish more new instructors had support, tips, and tangible advice to start their teaching career with confidence.

  1. You won’t always know what your niche is from the start. So, be open to teaching all kinds of people, even special cases (ideally have a teacher you can go to for support or advice) so that you can learn even more and find where your voice is, what clients you are drawn to and what clients are drawn to you.
  2. It’s ok to say no. As much as I want you to get out there and teach as much as you can I want you to maintain a work schedule so that you don’t hit burn out.
  3. Talk to everyone about who you are and what you do! I find most new instructors have more clients from the get-go because they are so fired up. So take advantage of your newbie months!
  4. Yes, you need to learn more but you don’t need to take EVERY workshop that comes your way. Teach more bodies don’t just collect information.
  5. Read my book!
  6. Watch this masterclass course
  7. Don’t worry about being so new. Most clients won’t care how long you’ve been teaching. They care more about how you can help them!
  8. Get a website but don’t obsess about social media
  9. Talk to your CPA about being and LLC or Scorp as independent contractors are taxed higher.
  10. Maintain your Pilates practice!!! This will keep you learning and staying inspired.

I could go on and on and on! If you’ve got a question you can contact me here or comment below.  I’m excited for you!

xx~LL

How do you Stay inspired After a Long Day?

A common question I get is “how do you stay so inspired?” Sometimes that question breaks down to “how do you stay motivated and/or energized when you are teaching 7+ hours in a day? And, because it’s coming up a lot more lately I wanted to share some of my go-to tips for staying inspired, staying strong, maintaining my sanity and motivation.

  1. Know your Teaching schedule and protect it! This doesn’t mean you cannot break your own rules but it does require you to be aware of when you are doing that. I have a set teaching schedule when I am in my studio. And, that does mean saying no to people. And that does mean I am saying no to money. But, if I were to switch my schedule whichever way the clients schedule blows I couldn’t have a life nor could I maintain an admin schedule. If you don’t stay on top of your marketing and other admin it will pile up and drain you more than anything else. Get clear on your ideal schedule with my course.
  2. Create Before You Consume. I post all my marketing, do all my content creation before I scroll, open my inbox or check my social profile notifications. If you consume before you create there’s a good chance you’ll be left feeling pretty crummy before you go to post or you’ll have someone else words on your mind. And the problem with that is we make up stories about other people based their curated account. We think they are “killing it” based off posts, not any other evidence.
  3. Know your seasons. Meaning know how many hours in a row or time of day you are at your best. There are some mornings a week I cannot teach because I need to not feel rushed a couple of mornings a week. I can work more hours in a row on Sundays than I can on Mondays. I learned all this by trying out different combos. Paying attention to how I felt after and then molding my teaching schedule to reflect my more inspired hours. This will take longer than you think to figure out and then to implement. But shorter than you think if you do the work.
  4. Know who’s opinions of you matter. Don’t waste your time worrying about what people are saying about you if you wouldn’t ask advice about your business from them. Tell the people who’s opinions that matter to you that they do. It’ll make them feel good and reinforce who’s feedback you should be paying attention to.
  5. Remember that your business is supposed to work for you. Not the other way around.
  6. Get curious. I don’t talk every cue into clients. My teacher Jay Grimes said you cannot “talk Pilates into a body.” So, instead of boring myself all day repeating the same or similar cues I use equipment to teach them what I want and I get creative with what exercises I choose to teach them what I want them to know. It takes time to get comfortable doing this but you will be more inspired at the end of the day when you figure it out.

Look, teaching does require you to give a lot of energy out all day long. But, its important that when a client leaves you let their energy go with them. You have to find some things that you implement into your daily routine that protect and energize you. And, say no more often than you think.

I’d love to hear what energizes you or what changes you make to help you stay inspired at the end of the day in the comments below.

xx~LL

Ps here’s a video I did about Self Care for Pilates Anytime! Use LLOGAN to watch for free and enjoy 30 days if you are not yet a member.