Pilates Teachers, What Should You Write About?

You became a Pilates teacher because you want to help people the way Pilates has helped you! And, then you found out you have to do a ton of other things to grow your Pilates business, get new clients and fill your classes and schedule. You get your website up and then you find out blogging isn’t dead and you have to write. And, you hear email isn’t dead and you have to send newsletters. What?! No one teaches these things in Pilates teacher training programs. What on earth are you supposed to write about?

Before you get writing let’s make sure you have a few things in place

  1. Your website lets you blog
  2. How often will you blog?
  3. Who are you blogging too?
  4. Your website captures emails and you have an account to send emails with something like MailChimp or Constant Contact
  5. How often will you send a newsletter?
  6. Who are you writing too?

Once you have those answers or at least some ideas then you can implement the following:

A: Write about what you are constantly answering. If people are asking you these questions they think you’re the expert and they are also asking the search engines these things.

B: Write about what you like to teach. If you don’t teach athletes don’t write about how Pilates is great for athletes. You want to write about what you feel you’re knowledgeable in and how you want to show up and teach each day.

C: The first paragraph is key! It needs the keywords that your clients and future clients are putting into the search engines. Give the good stuff away in the beginning and get them hooked.

Alright, I know you’re sitting here reading this and nodding your head and then slowly freaking out. This all sounds easier said than done. So, if you’re wanting to know how to blog watch my course here. If you’re needing help on newsletters, defining who you are writing to contact me here. Let’s work one on one. Your time is extremely valuable and we can get super clear on who you are writing to each week! It will make writing easier. I promise.

What are you going to write about this week? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

xx~LL 

3 Tips to Winning Your Clients Back

Have you had a client go on vacation, have the best time and then come back to their life but not to their Pilates schedule? Or, that client that came 2x a week religiously, got sick, took a break and you haven’t seen them since. There’s a whole lot of feelings when situations like these happen. First, you’re worried? Are they ok? But, you see on social their totally fine. So, then, frustration and feeling rejected ensues. I mean, they loved class with you. Why aren’t they back? Did you do or say something wrong? Should you call them? Ugh, but it’s been weeks, so now it feels awkward! Am I right? When did running your Pilates business feel like dating?

Here’s the thing, we are not the right teacher for everyone all of the time. Sometimes it’s good for clients to take a break. But, what if it’s not. What if it’s the right client and teacher and you know that life has just gotten to them and you want to be there to bring them back, to return them to life? Can you get an old client back?

Yep, and here are three tips to winning clients back:

  1. Contact them! Ok, before you roll your eyes and stop reading this blog hear me out. You probably connected them once when they were supposed to return, maybe even twice. And then you stopped reaching out. I get it. It feels awkward. But, you don’t know what’s going on with them. You may have emailed them the day they got bad news. They saw your email but just couldn’t respond. So, call them, say hi, if you can help them with anything. Don’t ask them to come in just be supportive.
  2. Have a Newsletter: Yes, this works! If you were already writing a consistent newsletter and making sure all your clients opted into it then your love notes would be hitting them regularly. I have two clients that travel a ton and always respond to my newsletters when they are going to be back in LA.
  3. Create a Community at your space. Yes, you can do this even if you teach Privates only and even if you’re an independent contractor. So many of my clients are friends because they pass each other between sessions. That little 5 min break where I am washing my hands and using the ladies they are gabbing away. If you have classes this is easier if you introduce people and encourage them to say hi to their neighbor in class etc. But, the accountability of the others knowing they are missing class keeps them coming back. For those of us who mostly teach privates introduce your clients to each other as they pass. Over time they get quite comfortable gabbing away. They usually start by lamenting over how you torture them! It’s fun!

Here’s the thing, clients are going to disappear. But, there are some key things you can be doing in your business to mitigate those disappearances. And, here’s the thing, getting a new client costs a lot. It costs time and money and those are two things I don’t want you to waste. So, setting your clients and your business up to strengthen your retention is key. If you want to get clients back and also prevent losing the good ones be sure to join me on my next webinar.

In the meantime, go ahead, call them! What’s the worst thing that happens they block you? They don’t call you back? Ok, that’s at least an answer and so not the end of the world. You’ll feel free to go ahead and fill there spot with a client who is more dedicated.

xx~LL 

3 Reasons You Are Not Teaching Your Ideal Client

It’s another week and you’re still teaching the same clients. You love them but you wish that you were teaching more athletes, more privates, more classes or just more inspiring Or, maybe you’re not teaching any session and you’re freaking out! How are you going to pay the bills? Was teaching a good idea? How come that teachers schedule is full? Whether or not your schedule is full or not has little to do with feeling fulfilled. You yearn to be teaching a particular group of clients and you feel like you’re ready and waiting but where are they? Why don’t they realize that you’re THE TEACHER for them?

#1 They don’t know you! I know, how is that possible? You’re posting away on the social channels, you’re going studio to studio teaching or trying to teach and you’re telling all your friends how much you love what you do. Why then does nobody, or at least the body’s that you are the best teacher for unaware of your magic? Simple, you haven’t told them. Sure, you told your friends and the platforms but you haven’t told the people who know your people. You haven’t blogged so the search engines can’t tell people who you are. You haven’t gotten out to the communities where your client is. And, if you have then you haven’t been clear about who you are what you do and why you rock at it!

#2 You’re not clear on who you want to teach. As much as you want everyone to love you and what you do it’s not possible. And, I know it’s scary to niche down or turn people away but it’s better to only teach the clients you are right for. Because they will refer you more people like them! Say yes to the wrong clients and either they won’t sign up with you or they will and they’ll refer more people like them. And, sure, you’ll be busy but busy with peeps who drain you and make you wonder if teaching is right for you. Can you change your mind? Sure, will everyone in your schedule fit 100% into your box…nope. But, the clearer you are the more people who will hear your awesomeness and over time the more people who will light your fire and challenge your teachings.

#3 You’re not clear on why you rock. Maybe you don’t think you rock? Or, maybe you’re afraid to shout from the rooftops that you are really good at something. Perhaps you think people won’t need or like what you are the best at? And if your answer “LL, I’m brand spanking new how can I be the best at anything?” Well, my newbie, you do something great! Just ask those who you practiced teaching on why they kept coming back. They’ll tell you! And, take that feedback and run with it! Over time your other gifts will reveal themselves.

Did I call out your excuse? If I didn’t don’t worry, there can be endless reasons why you’re teaching your ideal client but don’t let all of them turn into excuses that you get to keep around. Let’s talk about what you are doing and what you can do be doing more.

I’ve heard there is no money in Pilates, Yoga, etc etc. WRONG! And, if you hear someone say that you send them to me. There is money in doing whatever it is you’ve been called to do. But, you gotta let people know! They are not mind readers. They’ve got a lot going on and they need you to shout loud and clear why you’re the person for them.

And an easy spot you can do this is your website! Do you have one? How’s it working for you? I’ve got a 1-hour webinar that will help you break down exactly what you need on your site (and what you don’t) coming up. Let’s make your website work for you! And, if you’re not sure to contact me here.

xx~LL 

5 Things You Need to Do to Make the Leap in Your Business

Can you make a living teaching Pilates? Is teaching Pilates a career you can have long-term? Can you make a living teaching at one location? Should I teach at this studio or that studio? Can I open my own studio someday? These questions are just a handful of the ones I have received this month. New teachers, veteran teachers and soon-to-be teachers reaching out to get advice on going from where they are now to where they want to go. How does one make the leap?

These questions touch my soul actually because at the heart of these questions is “is my dream possible?” And, because I know people believe that goals and dreams are possible. If they are asking this question it’s because they probably wonder if it is possible for them. Which means they are wondering if they are enough.

Here’s the thing about your Pilates business wishes, goals and dreams…they are all possible. But, they require you to do a few things. And, unfortunately these things are not easy.

  1. You have to be clear on what you want for the future
  2. You have to be purposeful and strategic in your trainings and education
  3. You will have to learn to say ‘No’ more often than you think
  4. You will have to take educated risks
  5. You need to build a bridge

That last one is one that I think is important to focus on. Many goals coaches talk about ‘taking a leap.’ They ask “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” I prefer Brene Brown’s version of this question “What do you have to do even if you fail?” It’s a recipe for anxiety if you only do things that you couldn’t fail at. Or, not doing things because there is a risk it could not work out.

If you have a dream, a goal, you feel a calling you owe it to yourself it try it out. See what happens. Now, I am not saying go get a loan and open your dream studio right out of the gate. But, that you have to take steps towards that goal. Try things on for size see how it feels. Everything is good feedback.

Maybe you want to open a studio someday go manage one. See what you love about it and what you don’t so you can manage your studio differently. Or, if you realize I want my own space but I don’t want to manage anyone! Then your studio dream can still happen it justs means you need a space that only you need to be in.

If you’ve got goals go try them on! Clarity comes from action. Thinking about it a lot and not taking any leaps is draining. And creates a frenetic energy.

Also, by trying on your goals, giving them a go on a smaller scale you are in fact building a bridge from where you are now to where you want to go. With a bridge, no net to catch you is needed. You can walk right across it.

If you are sitting there reading this and feeling like you are wrestling with several options or choices and you don’t know what to choose or what to do then it’s time to talk. I’ve got two options for you. My free webinar on December 16th –How to Make the Leap‘ or a one-on-one coaching call. It’s never too late to build your bridge. But, why wait any longer than you need to?

xx~LL

Are You Hiring Out of Desperation or Alignment?

Hiring anyone is a gamble. It doesn’t matter if you are an independent instructor or studio owner at some point you will need to hire help or team members. And, the choices you make can help propel your business forward or cost you time and money. And, while the adage saying “hire slow and fire fast” might be in the forefront of your brain that doesn’t quite explain the things to keep in mind when hiring slow or firing fast. And, what do you do when you have to hire fast? How do you know you are hiring out of desperation?

In my years managing retail stores and studios, there were times when I needed to hire someone ‘yesterday!’ The goals and demands required help sooner than I had anticipated. And, then there were the times when someone quit and even with a two-weeks notice I still had yet to find a replacement. I learned the hard way in my retail days the problems that came along with hiring out of desperation and need rather than listening to my gut or taking a hit on the bottom line and waiting for the right person to come along.

When you hire out of desperation you:

  1. Often lie to yourself about the likelihood that this is a good match
  2. You waste time training, onboarding and holding that person accountable to the expectations of the job.
  3. Lose the opportunity to meet and find the right person
  4. Affect the client experience and could potentially lose clients and money as well as time.
  5. Create a potentially toxic environment for your whole team and could end up needing to do more damage control than the hire was worth

When you hire out of alignment you: 

  1. Choose people based on their goals and abilities cohabitating with your goals and needs
  2. Create a team that is stronger and cohesive
  3. Use your time and energy wisely
  4. Empower those around you
  5. Increase client experience and growth of the community

Are you sitting there reading this and feeling like you have a team member, web developer, a social media consultant who may have been hired out of desperation? That’s ok! We have all been there. And, while I would love to sit here and say that if you hire out of alignment it’s all rainbows and dollar signs I can’t. There are no guarantees. However, in my experience, if you take the time to hire based on alignment even if the relationship is short-lived the experience is positive and creates space for growth!

If you are ready for tips on best hiring practices, questions to ask, answers to pay attention to and what to do when you’ve made a mistake then join me on my next webinar all about hiring! It’s not just about hiring staff that work in your studio. It’s also great advice for hiring people who will create your website or consult with you in other ways. Find out the details on how to watch https://webinars.profitablepilates.com/hiring-help-teachers-vas-and-more/here.

Hiring can be stressful and exhausting but it doesn’t have to be! We can get you to a place where you welcome the hiring opportunities.

xx~LL 

 

Busting Pilates Business Myths

Thoughts often become facts. Have you heard that before? What about, “don’t believe everything you think?” I think these two often used statements are incredibly important to remember when you are running your own Pilates business. It doesn’t matter if you are a Pilates Studio owner or a Pilates instructor. It is easy to slip and fall into traps and beliefs that will more than likely hold you back or keep you from trying out new things that could grow your business. What are some of the myths that I think need busting?

  1. The people here only want classes or only want privates: Last I checked no community got together and said: “let’s make sure all Pilates studios only offer us, classes/privates.” Clients want what will help them solve their problems. What is your future client’s problem? How do you solve that problem?
  2. We can’t raise our rates because everyone is looking for a deal: Please see my response to Myth #1 and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you offer value to your clients and deserve to be paid your worth. People are not choosing your competitor based on their prices. They are not going to the studio down the street because it’s cheaper. That studio is giving them something that they are looking for. How can you be the answer to your ideal client’s problem? You solve their problem they will reconfigure their budget to get to you! Want to consider raising your rates? Check out the latest webinar here.
  3. There are so many Pilates studios here: Your competition is not going to kill your business. You not defining who you are, what you do and how you rock your clients’ worlds will. Too often we tell people what we think they should hear. We are not listening to what they need and showing them how we are the answer they have been looking for. That’s amazing that you won muscle competitions and have five certifications. I’m not discounting that. But, how do you help them? If you spend your time sharing with your community what you can do for them that is different than anyone else there can be ten studios on your block and you’ll still be successful!
  4. You have to stick to the Pilates “business model”: First, I actually have no idea what this means. But, I think it refers more to having a studio that has lots of teachers, runs classes, privates and has teachers rent. People work 6 days a week and do morning and evening shifts. I’ll admit I thought I couldn’t own a studio because I didn’t want to manage any more teachers or manage a schedule. Glad I didn’t believe in this myth. Because now I have a great walk up studio with everything I need and it’s all by myself. The truth is you can run your Pilates business any way you want that is legal. If you want to be a solo-preneur go for it! If you want to only have classes only have classes. If you want to have privates only do that. Your business will be more successful when you create a space that highlights your strengths and how you want to offer your gift. Will it be difficult? Yep, but copying the studios in your neighborhoods business model isn’t any easier!
  5. You have to work a certain schedule: If you truly want to do Pilates as a business for the long haul I absolutely need you to teach the times that are best for you! Sure, in the beginning, you may be teaching all of the place and random times trying to figure out who you are as a teacher and what times work best for you. But, once you’ve got a good idea of when you are at your best it’s time to get some boundaries and set an ideal schedule and focus on filling that. It’s imperative for self-care, consistent growth in your business and for you to feel like your business works for you instead of the other way around!

There are so many more myths to bust! If I didn’t talk about one you’re curious about post it below in the comments are email me here. Aside from great advances in technology, there are some amazing tools out there that allow you to create the Pilates business that meets your needs. So, what beliefs are you willing to let go of?

xx~LL 

3 Reasons Why Blogging Helps Your Pilates Business

I know you think blogging is dead. I know you think you can’t write. Or, that you don’t have “time.” Maybe you believe you don’t know what to write about?! Well, whatever your reason for not blogging is I am here to tell you it’s not dead and so integral to attracting the clients you want, filling your schedule and your classes and making you known in your community. Ever wonder how people get discovered? It’s because of their website and it’s not because they pay for ad’s. It’s because the search engines (think Google etc) pull their site up. And they pull it up because of the words on the website aka blogs. And the most updated website.

You don’t need to revamp your site every year if you’re blogging consistently! More on this at my next webinar or on my course vlogging and blogging. But, for now here are 3 Reasons why you need to be blogging!

  1. You Show off Who you are, what you do and why they should choose YOU! If you have been reading my blogs or working with me for a while you know I am all about the “elevator speech.” A few sentences that tell people why you rock! But, let’s say you are busy. While you are teaching your website is working for you and the blogs on your site tell potential new clients all about your expertise in your area!
  2. Keeps your Website Fresh! I know you think you built the site, the information is current so done and done right? Wrong! For epic SEO (search engine optimization) you need the search engines to pick your website as the answer to peoples questions. They pick websites based on so many things. Most in your control! One of those things is your blog. If you blog every time you post it updates your site telling those engines you are fresh and new! Plus, you can write a blog that is a direct answer to something your ideal client might be looking for online. Which is literally where everyone is getting their info! For more on SEO and what your website needs check out this course.
  3. Engage with Your Community! When you blog you can share what’s happening now, soon and share pics, testimonials and more. When people are going from one studio or teachers site to the next the more they get to know you and experience what you have to offer the more they connect with you. It means that when they come in for that first session they already feel like they know that you are the teacher for them!

This is just 3 reasons why! I could go on and on about why you should be blogging! And, I will be covering those other reasons as well as what to blog about, how to feel confident in your writing skills and more at my next webinar! If you are ready to attract your ideal client, make your website work for you and show how you are the expert in your area then join me here.

xx~LL

Is it Personal When Someone Unsubscribes From Your List?

They say that your list is everything! “They” being the people who are trying to teach, coach, motivate and even sell products on how to grow your “list.” And, by list, they are talking about your newsletter list. And, I’ll be honest. I am not totally in disagreement. Your newsletter list is integral to the growth of your business whether you offer things online or in person only. Email is not dead. And, now more than ever a persons email is a worth so much more than you might think. When someone subscribes to your newsletter they are inviting you into their personal inbox. To their space to share what it is you want to share. So, is it personal when they unsubscribe?

If you don’t have a newsletter you may be getting ready to jump ship on this week’s blog. But, I truly hope you don’t. I hope you reach out to me so we can get your list started. Because, here’s the deal you do not control the algorithms of any social media platform I don’t care how good you are at hashtag’s or how many followers you have. If the rules change tomorrow your likes, comments, and even reach can disappear in a moment. But, your newsletter list is within your control.

How often you reach out to them is up to you. I would argue consistently. And consistently can be once a month, once a week or even daily. I am on a list that emails me twice a day. I actually don’t mind. I love what they send me!

But, if someone unsubscribes from your list is it personal? And, you can also insert if someone unfollows you is it personal?

Truthfully, I cannot answer that. I have seen many a people I do and don’t know subscribe and a few unsubscribe from my lists. I don’t pay attention to who unfollows me. I mean, who has the time to do that? But, every day I get an email that updates me on how many new email subscribers I get received that day and how many I lost, unsubscribed. I don’t often know why people unsubscribe. Sometimes they fill out the survey most times they don’t. But, I never ever take it personally and you shouldn’t either. Even if it is personal.

  1. Read the Four Agreements its a fabulous book that will help you rock your life and business. An easy and quick read and one of the agreements is to not take anything personally. I know this isn’t easy but what motivates people to do things is really none of my business. You and I do not have time for that anyways. You have a path you’re on and their personal attack attempts are just a distraction. Plus, you cannot reach into the internet, grab them by the hands, look them in the eye and ask “why don’t you want my emails?” And, even if you could is it really worth trying to convince someone to want or like your stuff? Nope! There are 10 more people out there who are looking for what you offer. It’s worth your time to go looking for those people and not trying to convince people who don’t want what you offer to want what you offer.
  2. Thank them for leaving! When you use a service like MailChimp, Constant Contact etc to email your list they charge you for the number of people on your list. I do not want you or even myself to pay for people who don’t want what you are offering. The more you only have people on your list who want what you got the better your open rates are the more fruitful your emails will be.
  3. So what if it is personal? Honestly, it sucks when you see someone you know leave your list. You can’t help but wonder why. But, does it really matter? Not everyone will like, love or support what you are up to. And that is ok. Like I mentioned in my self-care video on PilatesAnytime (use LLOGAN if not a member to watch) you need to know the 5 people whose opinions of you matter. You need to tell them and then if you see other people you know leave your list and they are not one of those 5 people you need to let it go. Because you have a business to run, a life to live and a “why” that won’t happen on it’s own.

I know the hardest thing in life is to not take things personally. But, sometimes we have to remember, it’s not always about us. Why they unfollowed you, left your list has a lot more to do with what they want in their life, their inbox, their goals and their business. And, while it may not be you that is a-ok. Because, as I mentioned earlier there are 10 more people who are looking for your list. So, spend more time getting your work in front of those who are looking for it and less time wondering why that person doesn’t want it. Dive deeper into articulating what you have to share. Find unique ways to get your message out to those who you want to hear it. And, worry less about those who don’t want what you have. They are not your audience.

xx~LL 

 

 

Do You Have Your Policies and Procedures In Place?

Do you remember the first time you had to charge someone a late cancel? How did it go over? Were you nervous? Did you worry if they would quit working with you so you didn’t charge them? What about policies over cell phones, scheduling, talking during the class? Whether you are an employee, studio owner, independent contractor or group class teacher if you don’t have clear set rules and policies in place then you can’t expect clients to follow what’s not there or worse what’s there but not enforced.

The truth is no matter how hard it is, uncomfortable or weird it is to enforce a policy it’s integral to the growth and sustainability of your Pilates business. I’ll never forget the client that I lost due to another client’s constant cell phone use. I know, some of you may think that if I or any teacher this happens to were good at what they were doing then our clients wouldn’t notice the person on the reformer next to us talking on their phone. But, the truth is, it doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. All it takes is one or two clients not listening to modifications being called out because they can’t hear the teacher due to the person next to them having a conversation and they get hurt.

While no fitness class, Pilates studio, or private session happening next to another teacher’s private session is happening in a library it’s important that the clients get the information they need to have a successful workout so they continue to come back. And, I am sure you can remember a time when a client joined a class and treated it like it was their own session. How hard was that for you the teacher? Imagine being on the other side of the footbar?

Talking and cell phone use are the least of the policy problems that can affect a business. If you or your studio is not enforcing your cancellation policy, payment policies and prices this can lead to a slippery slope that eventually devalues your business and not only causes strain and stress but it can also be the thing that takes the inspo right out from under you!

Here’s the thing about charging for late cancels whether it’s for a private or a spot in a class it’s part of maintaining the value of your work and your studios work. Daniel Stead Blanton is a fitness business coach in Los Angeles, CA who spent her time before being a fitness coach as a corporate attorney “commonly see studios that do not enforce their LC/NS policy. They are afraid of upsetting their clients and will let the client’s bad behavior slide (not charge them for no-shows, allow them to stroll into class 15-20 mins late). When management does decide to enforce timeliness and charge fees, the clients lash out because they’ve gotten away with their bad habits for so long.” 

I’ll never forget the first client I had who said: “my last Pilates instructor never charged me for late cancels.” It put me in a position where I had to defend myself, my policies and not just for me but for the future Pilates instructors this person encountered. If you listened to the latest Pilates Unfiltered Podcast episode “Words with Friends” I was interviewed in with some of my friends we discussed how if you charge what you’re worth it allows other teachers to charge what they are worth. The same goes for policies. If you enforce your policies it allows the next teacher to be able to do the same.

As instructors, studio owners, studio managers we not only teach people Pilates we also teach them how to treat us, how to value their time in our space and this not only helps them get the true benefits of Pilates but it also allows you to stay inspired, feel valued and continue to share your gift with the next client.

Danielle and I will be discussing more about How Policies and Procedures Improve the Customer Experience‘ in my next webinar on September 13th 12 pm pst (replay available for one week). To snag your spot and get a chance to ask Danielle an incredible fitness instructor, yep, someone who is actually in your studio shoes who also has experience in the legal side of things register here. 

If you cannot join us live but you have a burning question about policies, procedures client or employee/contractor wise then feel free to send them in ahead of time to me lesley@profitablepilates.com. We will answer them live on the webinar.

Below is more information about this upcoming webinar and my guest, Danielle!

I cannot stress enough how important it is that you as a teacher or studio owner set your self up for success. Growing your business isn’t always about getting more clients. It’s about providing a space that allows your current clients, teachers and yourself to grow and flourish. And, as they do they will send you more awesome business of people who follow your policies and treat you with the respect you show them.

xx~LL

Join Danielle and LL on September 13th 12pm pst for: How Policies and Procedures Improve the Customer Experience

“The foundation of a good customer experience and a customer-centric business is a clear set of policies and procedures. Being consistent in letting your customers know what to expect from you, and in turn what you expect from them, is absolutely essential. In this webinar, we discuss common customer experience scenarios studios and online businesses face and what solutions owners can implement to address them. We encourage you to come ready to discuss customer experience issues that have arisen in your business operations so we can discuss them as well.”

Danielle Stead Blanton is a fitness business coach in Los Angeles, CA. She is a studio consultant and investor, having her hand in running the day-to-day of a successful HIIT studio. Danielle is also an ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor, specializing in teaching HIIT, Strength, and Megaformer Pilates classes. In her past life, she was a collegiate athlete turned corporate attorney, practicing corporate + real estate law for years before choosing to leave big law. She then started her own consulting agency, providing accessible legal and business services to small businesses, fitness professionals, artists, and independents.

What is the Perfect Teaching Schedule?

I was recently asked for a podcast what I wish I had known sooner. And, I said, “I wish I knew it was ok to say ‘no’ to a client session request sooner.” And, not because I didn’t want to teach. On the contrary! I absolutely LOVE teaching Pilates. And, if I had two or three of me I would teach even more than I do!  But, as far as I know, there is only one of each of us. And the beauty in that is that there are only one you and one me. And, because teaching Pilates requires more than telling people to bend and straighten their limbs. It requires you the teacher being at your best. And, so, you can’t say ‘yes’ to everyone and you can’t teach every day or hours that are not ideal for you. Not only will you exhaust yourself you will probably lose inspiration to continue teaching and that would be the worst! Because there are clients out there that only you can teach!

So, what is the perfect teaching schedule?

Is there even such a thing?

As I mentioned a briefly above I wish I had learned how to say ‘no’ because instead what I did do was say ‘yes’ to every client session that came my way. I quickly was teaching any hour I had available outside my ‘real’ job. And, one day I was able to say I could leave my salaried job and just teach Pilates. But, I was walking into a schedule that made no sense. One of my teacher friends called it the “swiss cheese schedule.” I’ll never forget talking to other teachers about the “best” hours to be available, how many hours in a day I could/should teach, and figure out what was “full-time?”

Here’s the easy and maybe even non-answer about what the “perfect” schedule is. There is no such thing as the perfect teaching schedule. Because there is no such thing as perfect. So, FREEDOM! You can teach whenever you want to teach! The tougher answer is actually in the ‘how.’ How do you create your teaching schedule?

If your answer is ‘whenever clients want sessions” then you’re not wrong…but you may be putting your clients first and your schedule last. Here’s the deal about schedules, teaching schedules are a lot like “store” or “office” hours. Every store has hours that they are open. Most businesses have set office hours. Your teaching schedule can be treated and created the same way. And, because it’s your business and life you should be the one to decide:

What days do you teach?

What hours do you teach?

How many hours a day will you allow yourself to teach?

So, if you were to take a blank calendar out and you were not to consider any clients what days would you be available for sessions? What times on those days would you be able to take clients?

This, in a nutshell, is how you create your ‘perfect’ schedule. If you are sitting there reading this and rolling your eyes are a little bit or think this might work for others but it doesn’t work for you then it’s time we have a talk! If you want to dive deeper into how to create and fill your ideal schedule you can check out our course here.

We are all different, and what works for me or the teacher at the Reformer next to you may not work for you. Some of us can teach 4 hours in a row and do 6 hours in a day. Others may need a 15-minute break every couple of clients. It’s your business, create your own teaching hours!

xx~LL

5 Ways to Make Time for Your Own Pilates Practice

When I was a Pilates apprentice I never worked out more in my entire life! Do you remember being a student? I swear between the Pilates sessions I took from my teacher trainer, then being a body for my fellow apprentices and the self-practice hours and mat classes I had to attend it was multiple hours a day some weeks. I was not at all prepared for life post apprentice life. I became a teacher because I loved doing Pilates. And, as a student in training I got to do so much Pilates and then I started teaching…I know I am not the only one who after finishing their program saw their Pilates practice go from many hours to few hours. In fact, this week’s blog post is inspired by the many teachers who have been asking me how to make time for their own Pilates practice. After a couple week’s of losing out on my regular Pilates practice, I realized that I had to treat myself like I treated my clients. I had to put my sessions in first. I know, easier said than done. But, here are five ways you can make sure your Pilates is a priority. And, if at the end you still think you won’t have time then I want you to hit me up. Because you cannot stay inspired if you’re not exploring Pilates in your body.

  1. Sharpie You in First: If you follow my blogs about getting clients to be consistent or have done my course “getting busy with what you’ve got” then you know how to do this. But, in short, you should schedule your life around your Pilates sessions. I know, you have no room in your schedule. Take a blank schedule and put in your favorite workout times, classes or standing session with your favorite instructor. Then schedule everyone else.
  2. Get Moving with Tech: These days there is no shortage of options. So, if you don’t live near an instructor that inspires you Skype with one. Many teachers like myself are now offering Skype, Facetime or Zoom sessions. But, when you set this up be sure to make it a standing appt so you never miss! You can also get moving with PilatesAnytime.com (use LLOGAN for a 30-day trial) it’s only $18/month.  My weekly online Mat classes are only $5/week and are 30 min long so no matter how busy you are you can get your Pilates on. There is also Pilatesology.com and PilatesAvatar. With all these options and at rates that are less than an almond milk latte I hope you can see I am taking your excuses away. Once you pick one or two of these tech options go back to #1 and schedule your workouts in your schedule.
  3. Workout before you respond to emails: These days there are autoresponders so if you are worried about getting back to people set up an autoresponder that says you’ll “get back to them when you’re done working out and teaching Pilates.” I promise there will always be more emails so your Pilates workout comes first.
  4. Buddy up! Grab a teacher in your studio or even a friend across the globe and have a set Pilates session time. Text or Facetime each other and hop on your separate mats or Reformers and get moving. I used to do this with my friends in high school. We would play the same exact card game and start at the same time. Then we would call each other and see who finished the game first. Now, your Pilates sessions isn’t a race but if you both have to do a 30 min Pilates session that day and if you don’t you’ll have to tell a friend that you had “too much to-do” you’re going to have to take more time out of your day to explain yourself rather than just getting your move on!
  5. Learn how to Say No: I think doing #1 is pretty easy. Writing in your Pilates workout in your weekly schedule. But, protecting it is a whole other situation. However, if you have done the work to block that hour off every week, week after week then no one should be able to take it from you unless you give it away. And, I know that sometimes it’s easier to say you’ll take them “just this one time” so that you don’t lose the money. But, why should you bend over backward for them? You’re planning your life and teaching around your sessions you can train your clients to do the exact same thing. So, while it’s so hard to say no to a client aka money your Pilates practice, body, mind, and inspiration need you to protect your time to refill your Pilates gas tank.

What’s your trick for keeping Pilates in your weekly schedule? Share it below so other teachers can benefit from it. Because the more we do Pilates the more inspired we are which makes our clients feel excited and share the joy of Pilates with their friends. And, that means, more people doing Pilates!

xx~LL 

How do You Handle a Bad Review

Have you ever had a negative review on one of those review sites? Luckily for me, my Yelp reviews are all positive. But, that isn’t the only place where people give us Pilates teachers and studio owners reviews. With the age of social media upon us every single post you put out there is open for interpretation and many people find it there life’s journey to tear us down. To say something not nice. People can now critique you publicly in so many ways. So, it’s important to know how to handle it! Not just because it hurts personally but also because some of those critiques can affect our business.

Here are 3 ways to handle the bullies, critics, and feedback:

  1. Decide if you need to respond: If it’s on a Yelp or site that reviews services a response is probably necessary. But, you will most likely not win them back. However, others coming to the site will see how positively you handle the situation. It is also a good idea before you respond to see if they truly were a client (more on this in my next webinar). If the negative comment is on social media it may not be necessary to respond. And, remember you can always block or delete. There are people who like to spend their time tearing others down. Spend your time engaging with those who want to create a community with you. Lastly, we are not perfect humans (I know, it’s true) and sometimes negative reviews are opportunities for us to review ourselves and our services and see if there is room to improve.
  2. Decide how you want to respond: If after doing your research you decide to respond to the comment you can take the conversation offline and direct message them to try and resolve it. Then go back to the public space and do an “update” on the situation.
  3. Respond immediately: I know! You have a million things to do but it’s important if you are on the review sites or you have forums where people can post comments about you that you stay on top of reviews or responses. If you cannot have someone else monitor them. Referrals are key to our businesses and online referrals are often how we get many new clients. So, while you cannot control everyone it’s important that you save time in your admin hours to show just how awesome you are and respond to reviews.

We will never be without those people who want to say something not so nice. There will always be someone who needs to remind us that they are there or that they may know more than we do. And, there will be those clients who come in and complain about things that are out of our control like parking, traffic etc. But, what we can control we should and if you are reading this it means you care about how you run your business. So, it’s super important that you don’t take these negative reviews personally. But, that you do use them as an evaluation and to see if you are still doing business in line with your goals. If you are, then the review is nothing more than an annoyance. If someone complains that you don’t have classes and your goals are to only teach privates than it’s not a negative review. It simply informs people of what you are, a private session studio.

Do you have a negative review story you want to share? What happened and how did you handle it?

I’ll be talking more about handling negative reviews and feedback in my next webinar. Join me here.

xx~LL