Joseph Pilates truly believed that Everyone should be doing his work. His desire is now our mission. As Pilates Instructors the more people doing Pilates the closer we get to achieving his goal.
This month’s call is dedicated to Customer Referrals. Recently, my article “One on Every Corner” feeds into our call. To get referrals you must first have Clients. Below is what I wrote for the Pilates Union
One on Every Corner by Lesley Logan
That’s what Joseph Pilates wanted. He wanted everyone to be doing his exercises. He wrote books, letters and documented his method’s results. I venture he even dreamed what it would be like if the whole world were doing Contrology. How much better our mind, body, and spirits would be!
Today, there are so many great Pilates Instructors and Studios. In some areas, there actually is one on every corner. There also happens to be a cycling studio, treadmill gym, personal trainer gym, yoga studio, barre class, Pilates-esque group class, gyms, cross-fit, insert-next-workout-craze here… For some of us, it can be difficult to walk down a block without a place where lycra and spandex are the clothing choice required to enter.
On one hand, this is amazing! People are getting excited to move, get out of their offices, off their phones, and EXERCISE. On the other hand, it can also seem daunting to the Pilates teacher or Studio Owner. How do you stand out? How do you attract Spin lovers, workout-of-the-day cravers, and other endorphin junkies?
Hitting Fitness Goals Even Faster
Do you run an ad? Create a coupon? Add bikes, treadmills, Yoga-Lates?
Or maybe not! What if you were you? What if you stayed your authentic self? What if you got all these independent studio attendees to see you for what you are: The person that makes every activity they are already doing more effective. The fast pass to hitting their fitness goals even faster. Yes, that does sound amazing!
You are probably wondering how this can be possible by just being yourself. After all, you’ve been yourself this whole time and the cyclists across the street just don’t see you like the best marriage since peanut butter and jelly. This is where I come in and bring honesty. You may have been you, but if that includes keeping yourself closed off in the studio, then how would anyone ever meet you to realize you are the key to their success?
It’s like saying you don’t get asked out on a date, but you never leave your house or make eye contact. Just like a fisherman has to go to the water to fish, you have to go where the potential catch is.
Tips to Fill Your Studio Tomorrow and Beyond
In the last year, I have been coaching several studios on how to connect with the community around their studio to bring them inside their studio. Each studio I coach has its own unique qualities and its own individual community. However, here are a few easy tips I can give you today that will fill your studio tomorrow and beyond:
- Get Involved: Not just community service (although that is lovely and you should do that – we all should). I am talking about getting out of your studio and into what’s hip and happening. What is all the rage in your community? Are you in a running neighborhood? Are cycling groups gathering around every corner? Cross Fit attendees running around your block doing burpees? Yoga mats walking by? Mommy and Me coffee dates? What’s going on outside your doors? Go check it out! Be the expert of Pilates in that area. Let them see the Pilates Teacher at work!
Shout it From the Rooftops (Or the coffee lines, juice bar counters and to anyone you meet anywhere): You are a Pilates instructor and that’s cool, unique and bound to get a conversation started. Instead of playing on your phone the next time you are in line, find a way to share your love for Pilates. More people who know you are a Pilates instructor means more people can tell their friends you are one. In fact, your challenge in the next month is to tell 500 people what you do for a living (and no, a status change on Facebook does not count.)
- Invite the Neighbors Over: Welcome them to the block. Show them how to open your door. It sounds simple enough, but remember, not everyone knows what to expect on the other side of the door to a place that says “Pilates.” Do they sell Plates? Is Yoga going on in there? How do you pronounce it? Remember what it was like for you to walk into a Pilates studio for the first time? Having the owners of neighboring businesses over to your “home” makes Pilates more inviting. It makes it less scary and remember, those neighbors have clients and members they can introduce to you.
Each of the studios I coached had even more specific plans of action. We could, of course, go there with your studio. These tips are some easy, simple changes you can start today – literally! You can call up the Cross Fit gym down the street and invite them to a class designed specifically for them. You will become the expert Pilates person for all those who lift. The possibilities are endless.
The steps above are simple, easy, and don’t require you to change what you love. You don’t have to join in on the cycling craze and add a bunch of bikes; Let the spin studio do that. You can be the Pilates teacher to the Spinners! The greatest thing is that there is plenty to go around. If you are doing what you love and sharing it with those around you, you will shine brighter than a flashing sign inviting customers in.