Hey, Pilates Instructors and Studio Owners, you’ve got your doors open, website up, and are teaching what you love, but you need clients. It’s pretty obvious that stores need customers, doctors need patients, and we Pilates instructors need clients – if we plan on staying in business, of course. Without clients, it’s pretty hard to teach, and this is the ultimate leveler, because it doesn’t matter if you’ve been teaching for years or are just getting started.
Not only do we need clients to keep those doors open, but we also constantly need new clients. It’s easy to avoid thinking about the business, especially if you already have a full schedule and have no room for a new client. Guess what? Tomorrow, one of your 3x-a-week clients might just decide to move across the world, take a job across town, and or just need to take a break. Suddenly your “full schedule” could start looking pretty empty.
Tips to Getting New Clients
Let’s look some of the ways you can find those new clients without having to shell out a boatload of cash. Yep, I want to focus on things you can do this week that will bring clients your way and that you don’t need to pay anyone to do.
- Who do you already have? If you are truly rocking your clients’ worlds, and they are feeling and seeing the benefits of Pilates, they are your best marketers. Which of their friends or family members want to join in on the Pilates action? This option is great because your existing clients are essentially paying you to advertise your awesome skills. Ask your client to invite their friend to a session, so they can watch. (Chances are, they have no idea what Pilates is at all.) If the friend is enthusiastic afterward, offer the first session at an introductory rate, or sell a package on the spot.
- Who is in your area? During the hours you wish you were teaching, go out into your community and meet the neighboring businesses. Grab a coffee and introduce yourself to anyone in line. If they are getting coffee a block from where you teach, chances are they will come to your studio (they might even walk over on their lunch break!). If you want to be working 1-4 pm, for example, then go out and meet those in your area during that time of the day. Pilates instructors can still get amazing business the old fashion way—in person! My soon-to-be-released “Elevator Speech” course will help you with this. In the meantime, focus on how many people you can tell who you are, what you do, and where you teach?
- Who can you partner up with? If you know the type of clients you enjoy working with, think about where they shop and go. Go to those establishments and offer them an opportunity to reward their clients with an offer from you. For example: If you want to fill up your group classes, give the other business a promo to offer their customers. For example, contact the driving range down the street and offer a golfers-only class. The driving range can offer their customers a reward for purchasing a 12-bucket package. You begin to establish your Pilates studio in the minds of local golfers! Everyone wins. Your offer gives other businesses a reason to reach out to their best customers and also gets your name in front of people that may not know you yet. This one could cost you the “free” or “discounted” session, but it’s still a better way to spend your marketing dollars than buying ads when you don’t know exactly who will be seeing them. Even if no one takes the offer up, your name went out to a great list of people, and they may just skip the shopping trip and call you up for a Pilates session.
- Are you Googleable? Yep, you are going to have to stalk yourself. If someone is looking up “Pilates” in your area, are they finding you? Your studio? How far down the page are you showing up? If you are not close to the top, let’s talk. There are simple changes you can make to your website to help you climb the ranks.
Want more tips? Email me! I’ve got many more methods that range from free to costing you some marketing dollars. They work best when personalized to you and your business. In the meantime, remember that a watched phone never rings. If you want to teach more, you’ll have to get out there and show off just how incredible you are at what you do!