Offering classes allows you to have an offering that more people can afford, to help more people at one time, create community and increase your hourly rate. But, filling those classes can feel like you’re throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping it sticks. And, worse, when a class isn’t full it can not only hit your wallet but can feel deflating, personal and exhausting. So, how do you fill your classes? Especially today when it seems like everyone is giving classes away for free!
Know who you want to come to class. Ok, so you might not know their real name but you need to have an idea of who they are. What they do and what they are searching for. Then you need to reach out to the them where they are already hanging out.
Know the communities your future attendee is hanging out. Yep, where do they work, grab coffee, shop, workout? Who is their best friend? How can you collaborate, partner up or get their bestie to invite them to your class?
Get creative! You do not need to post about your class times on your social as much as you think. Instead, post about what people are saying, what they are experiencing, and what they will get by coming to your class. Let them look up what your schedule is. You’ve got .5 seconds to get them to stop scrolling IF they are even already following you. So, use that real estate to show off why you rock and who are for.
Go where they are. This doesn’t have to be in person although that is faster. You can use the beauty of social media geotagging, forums, and groups to find your people and then get to know them. Yep, notice how I didn’t say invite them to your class just yet. Instead, introduce yourself, ask them about themselves. What do they like to do? Think of it like dating!
Be consistent! You’re gonna want to give up the first few times your classes are lackluster in attendance. But, it now takes 7-17 touchpoints for people to make that decision. Yep, FB says average is 12 ads of the same offering before people click. And the other research out there is 7-17…that means you can talk about it once and then be disappointed that people didn’t flock in droves. Get in front of your ideal client as much as you can and be consistent in sharing why you rock and what they get by taking your classes.
For more strategy on getting the word out there let’s do a coaching call. Depending on if you’re a studio owner trying to fill everyone’s classes or an instructor trying to fill your own there are some tactical strategies that will be unique to your goals.
Until then, know who you are talking to, get in front of them often, and then remind them a few more times.
And, do yourself a favor and don’t race to the bottom on the discounts to get people into class. People are not googling “cheapest Pilates class near me.” Own your worth and people will value your classes even more!
Contact me here to strategize filling your classes.
You know you’re teaching is en pointe. You have a great space. You asked them their goals, your prices are competitive (maybe even a little too low) and you and this new client had a great session. But, at the end of the session, they said: “I’ll think about it.” Which leaves you feeling bummed, worried and wondering what you could have done differently. You may even think you’re not good enough to teach. Their objections to Pilates might have you creating “intro packages” or other discounts to get people to say “yes, I am in!” But, most of the time when new clients don’t buy Pilates it’s rarely due to the price.
The new data is in and it takes 12 touchpoints to get a client (customer) to go from hearing about a product or service to buying that product or service. 12! It used to be 6! People are so bombarded with information we have to stand out above the noise not add to it. Most often our efforts to share our love for Pilates is more noise than information.
If you’re constantly hearing objections or worse you’re not even getting new clients in to hear objections check out some things you might be doing that hurt your efforts to grow your business:
You are trying to sell Pilates- clients don’t need the history day 1 they need to know WHY YOU?
You have so many package options they have to “think about it.” People make decisions when they have fewer options. Make it easy on them to decide.
You’re selling before they even know who you are. People don’t get married sight unseen. When you’re selling them a package before they’ve laid on a Mat you’re asking them to commit. Would you? No, you probably want to know who they are, why they’re the right person for you, how they can help you. There is a whole journey they need to go on! I’ll be chatting about that in my next webinar! Give people time to go from “hello, I am ___ and I am a Pilates instructor who ___.” Before you say “buy this membership or this package.”
You’re too available. People want a busy restaurant. I promise. The more I try to fire a client the more they move their schedule around to fit mine.
You don’t tell the client what to do. People don’t often know that they are supposed to come in a certain number of times, pay ahead of time, cancel in a certain number of hours. You’re the teacher. Teach them what to do next to keep Pilates with you in their life.
You think that Pilates is expensive. Scarcity mindsets and money stories hold most teachers back. If you’re thinking with your wallet then you will not be able to build your business. If you see things for how much they cost and not for how much they are worth you’ll always struggle with building your business. You help people live better lives. How much is a better life worth?
I know you want to teach more people that inspire you. I know you want to work a schedule that allows you to have a life and keep Pilates in your body. I know you are trying so hard to make your magic happen.
If you are doing any one of those 6 things it’s time to make some changes. You are the only person who can do what you do. You are the only person who can teach how you teach. It’s time you systematically share who you are, whom you are for and what you do with the right people. Take them on a journey from “hey” to weekly consistent client.
Are you ready for that?
Comment below with what you want to change in your business!
This week’s blog post comes from a guest blogger and Personal Trainer Tyler Spraul! I love it because I am a big fan of not spending your hard earned dollars on marketing. And, below he not only gives you 4 tips on what to do he also gives you actions to take to make it work! Cannot wait to hear how these work for you. Take it away Tyler!
In this article, I’m going to show you some simple ways to get new customers without having to pay for advertising.
It’s all too common for a fitness business owner to take one chance at getting someone to sign up, and then never try again. It’s like we don’t want to offend people or come off as “salesy,” but the truth is that we are doing potential clients a disservice if what we have to offer will truly make their lives better!
It’s easy to dig into the things you enjoy the most about your business, like learning how to be a better coach and connect with clients, or continuing education to expand your toolset, or spending that quality hands-on time with your clients. But sometimes this fun stuff comes at the expense of the not-so-exciting portions of your business, like building efficient systems, implementing processes that are easy for new hires to follow, spreading the word about your business through marketing, and more.
When it comes time to grow and scale your business, it’s the not-so-exciting things that make or break your chances of success, so you can’t afford to ignore them.
Call them habits or systems — whatever you’d like — implementing just one of the following tactics on a regular basis will help grow your business consistently over time.
1. Find something to give away before you ask for anything from potential customers.
People love free stuff! Offer something your ideal customer can’t resist before they have to give you anything. To keep this simple, you can offer a “free sample” type of session on a regular basis.
This session would provide a low barrier of entry for potential customers to meet you and see what you have to offer.
It also provides an easy way for your current clients to invite their friends. They don’t have to think about selling their friends on your service but can simply invite them to give it a test run themselves, totally obligation-free.
Offer a FREE sample class or two every week on a day that fits your schedule. To keep it really simple, you can start with once a month.
2. Make it easy for existing clients to promote you.
What if your favorite clients went out of their way to hunt down more potential clients for you? What if they were excited to do it? This can be a huge win if you have never gone out of your way to ask for referrals.
You may even want to go as far as incentivizing those referrals.
Part 1: Make sure clients know the best way to refer their friends to you.
Do they just need to give you the correct contact information so you can reach out?
If not, where should they send potential referrals?
To your email or mailing list?
To your website?
To your once-a-week class that’s 100% free?
Wherever it is, make sure that you communicate it clearly and it’s as simple as possible for your clients!
Part 2 (optional): Figure out a sustainable way to reward your clients who refer customers.
You can position it as a fun monthly contest or challenge to see who can refer the most new customers.
You can then offer prizes and rewards to your top referrers. You can announce your winners each month or once per year.
If you just want to keep it super simple, that’s no problem. You can offer a discounted month or class voucher for each new customer a current member refers.
3. Make the most of your existing lists with a regular “ask.”
Your lists can be any social media channel, email newsletter, physical mailing list, etc.
Wherever you’re providing value through your content, you need to be consistent with your “ask.”
You must have a clear call to action (CTA) that prompts your ideal customer to get out of his or her routine and come do business with you. Before we get too carried away, we don’t want to make the mistake of using these tools to only sell all the time.
80% of your content should be helpful material to enhance your customers’ lives. Then once you’ve provided value consistently, you can point them to your specific calls to action.
Example: If you post 5 days a week on Instagram, one of those posts should be a CTA, while the others should be adding value, sharing client successes, etc.
What makes a good call to action? I was hoping you’d ask!
A good CTA:
Only asks for one clear action. Don’t ask for a comment, and a share, and a like, and a text message to friends and loved ones.
Provides the exact steps needed to take action.“Enter your email below.” “Call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx to book your appointment.” “Click this link to book your spot in our FREE Saturday session: [LINK]”
Gives a reason to take action now instead of later.“Our first 3 reservations each month receive a free water bottle.” “Book today, and we’ll include a free session voucher.” Don’t abuse this one, though. If you have a deadline, stick to it, and don’t make up pretend deadlines for the sake of having one.
Brainstorm 5-10 CTAs you can plug into regularly scheduled programming for social media, emails, etc. Make sure each one checks all the boxes for the requirements above.
4. Follow up, follow up, follow up!
Now that you’re giving value before asking for anything, incentivizing referrals, and moving people to take action with clear CTAs, it’s time to create a regular follow-up system.
How many times have you had a hot prospect get cold feet and duck out of a commitment, only to never see them again? You know your service would increase their quality of life, but it just didn’t work out the first time.
Do you say, “Oh well!” and give up all hope of getting them signed up?
Your follow-up system will help you make the most of the people who already know about your business and have expressed an interest, but aren’t currently paying members.
We are going to separate these follow-ups into 2 categories:
For leads who expressed interest recently
To follow up: Call them within 2 days of their most recent contact. If you don’t hear from them within a week, try again. For the first month, follow up once per week. Once they’re on your “1 Month+” list, give them a call once per month until they sign up or request that you stop calling.
Previous customers and any others you haven’t heard from in a long time
Determine the best way for you to make a personal follow-up with these people who already know about you but haven’t gotten on board just yet.
Keep it simple! It can be as easy as a Facebook message, but the key is to keep it personal. Check in with them, let them know you’ve been thinking about them, and ask how they’re doing.
We don’t want to just copy and paste a sales message with a link here — that’s not what I’m saying at all.
Whether it’s a phone call, handwritten note or postcard, or even just a Facebook message, following up while staying polite and persistent will keep you on the radar and let your potential clients know you care.
So, now that we’ve gotten through the list of these action ideas and examples, it’s time for a call to action of your own!
Pick one of these ideas right now (start small), and set aside 1 hour to work on it this week. Make sure to block off the time on your calendar!
Leave a comment below with the action you have planned. I’ll read every one!
Tyler Spraul is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the Head Trainer at Exercise.com. He played college soccer, then coached the men’s soccer team for five years at Columbia International University, overseeing all aspects of strength and conditioning. Over the years, his focus has shifted from performance first to moving well and getting stronger without injury. He loves helping people and encourages them to practice mindfulness. The little things matter, and consistency is key!
Big thanks to Tyler for sharing these tips and actions you can take! I second Tyler leave a comment below telling us what action you will take this week.
It’s probably the number one question I get. How do I get more pilates clients? How should I market to get more clients? Should I pay for an ad campaign? Discount services? The best and one of the easiest ways to get new clients is really in your control. You don’t have to discount (and shouldn’t ever cut yourself) to get them either. Continue reading →