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.

200 No’s and Why You Should Talk to Strangers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

Do You Know What Your AGENCY is?

Agency has multiple definitions but one of them has to do with using your own inner strengths and abilities. But, that is not as easy to do on your own. Enter imposter syndrome, the grass is greener over there thoughts, indecision, lack of confidence, unawareness of ones owns strengths, etc. etc. It’s not easy being a confident instructor.

After all, so many people tell anyone with ears there is no money in Pilates. That one can’t make a living as a Pilates Instructor. And so, how can you own your own agency? How can you know what it is and see it’s value? How can you see that your uniqueness is what will make your business thrive?

All these worries combined with the questions that teachers and studio owners have on a daily basis is why I created AGENCY. My group coaching membership. I wanted a place where no matter what your teaching background was, if you were a new teacher, experienced teacher, studio owner or independent contractor could come together in a supportive, positive space.

My desire is to help all Pilates instructors see and believe in possibility. To not run their business the way that everyone else is. Or to market themselves the way that everyone else is. Your goals require their own path.

There is no Pilates Career Ladder.

You can have the business you want if you are willing to do the work. But, how? Well, if you know the what you want to do and they why you want to do it in AGENCY between me and others who have been in your place or are going to do be will be there to provide ideas you may not have thought of. Provide support and positivity. Agency, a community in the Pilates and fitness world that wants to see everyone succeed because we rise together.

If you are reading this and you’re wishing you could just ask the questions you have, get feedback on an idea, high fives when you get a new client then you want AGENCY.

And, AGENCY is more than just the community, you get so much more. You can check out all the member benefits here and if you are wondering if AGENCY is for you then you can contact me here. It’s almost 2 years old and when you check out the benefits you’ll see some of the most incredible things members are saying!

xx~LL

PS all my webinars have moved behind AGENCY doors. In order to continue to support instructors and studio owners after they watch the webinar, it became necessary to add the community to these webinars.

How to Attract More People to Your Website

Most people do not use their website to its full capabilities. They tend to “set it and forget it.” But, a website is truly the 24/7 assistant you want, need and could be doing more for you if you set it up for that. Imagine people searching the internet for a question and your website comes up as the answer? And then, because of the work you put into your site they go on a journey that leads them to schedule a session! Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Here’s How You Do This:

1) You have to have a website. If you don’t watch this course before you spend a dollar or your time building one.

2) Every client needs to be courted. Think about the beginning of a dating relationship. You don’t get married after you become aware of someone right? My course on the client journey breaks down how to take a person from awareness of who you are and what you do to buying your services.

3) BLOG! Its so not dead my friends. My website gets thousands of views every month because of my blogs. Your blogs should be the answer to peoples questions. Then they go to your site and then end up getting on your client journey. See how all that works for you?

4) Newsletters, also not dead! A nurture campaign aka welcome series will help your client journey happen while you sleep. And, regular, consistent newsletters to those on your list keep you top of mind. And your site should be trading emails for something of value so you can guide those people to your core service!

If this sounds like total gibberish then please start with my “what your website needs” course. Then go to the “client journey” before you do the Newsletter 101 or next level. In 4 hours you’ll be sooo ready to put your website to work for you! And, that means it’s attracting your ideal client and telling them what to do while you are sleeping, teaching or reading this blog!

xx~LL

How I Prepare for a New Client

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx~LL

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