Why You Shouldn’t Discount Your Services

Depending on where you live in the world the date your competitors started teaching for free may differ from me. But, for now, we’ll agree that sometime in March the fitness industry and especially many Pilates teachers started teaching live workouts on every social media platform they could and doing it for free. In fact, the morning after my studio was closed indefinitely I felt like every teacher in the So cal community who used to charge $20+/class and had a waitlist started teaching for free. EVERYWHERE. And, not only did this leave them exhausted it also left them more worried than those I know that didn’t do this. In fact, discounting your services or offering them for free not only will hurt your bottom line it will leave you fill drained and on your way to burn out. Why? Let’s review why discounting hurts your business and some things to do instead.

First, discounting your services not only leaves you taking home less than what you need. And, lets get real, were you charging your worth before? Were you? Probably not. So, now not only are you making far less than you were before which already wasn’t enough to have a runway to get through this unprecedented time. But, you’re also telling people that what you were charging before was likely too much. And, when we are on the other side of this how will you go back to your pre-rona prices?

Second, Your business bills didn’t get discounted. So, now you have to teach even more just to make the same amount. And, yes, while people now have more time than before to workout they are still not picking up the phone and trying out a random teacher. They are taking the classes they did before even if it’s been a year or two. Or, they are asking their friends. So, you need to be nurturing your current clients and asking them to help you get their friends to class. But, if you discount your services to get these new clients in its not rewarding the loyalty of the clients who love you and want to support you. Also, you’re left with the issue of raising your prices on these new clients when “life goes back to normal.” Something very few teachers enjoys doing.

Third, most people are not researching “discounted Pilates near me.” Or, “free Pilates.” They literally are asking their friends and then looking you up online. Even more of a reason to have a stellar website for when they stalk you. So, discounting your services doesn’t bring you a slew of new clients just because you put a slash through the price.

Fourth, and maybe one of the more important reasons, when you discount or offer for free you definitely make it harder for every other teacher in your community, and the world to charge their worth. When you discount your work you devalue it. Devaluing the amazingness of Pilates doesn’t mean you’ll have more. It means everyone will have less. Why would anyone want to do a workout that lacks confidence in itself to charge its worth?

So, what can you do instead of discounting your work?

Take this time to get your business organized. Go over all your website copy, your social media bios etc. Are you talking to your ideal client? Are you telling them how you help them? Why they should work with you?

Evaluate how people can work with you. Maybe you used to sell 10, 20 or 30 packs of sessions. Maybe you keep your prices the same but you change the size during Covid 19 times only. For example, if you normally charge $1000 for a 10 pack of privates you charge $300 for 3 or $500 for 5. They are still paying the same price but less at the front end. Be clear that this is for this particular period of time. I stopped selling my ten packs for now because the reality is myself or my clients could get sick. I wanted to have less sessions on my books to have to worry about owing people. So, my clients pay one at a time for classes (they pre-pay) and they pay either a single session price that is more than a 5 pack session price. But, the 5 pack is at the cost of my 10 pack.

If you were doing only privates maybe you teach duets or semi’s and everyone can pay a bit less for the session but you make more for the hour. This is a great way to start to work less and make more! Everyone wins there. (All examples are considering virtual sessions but keep these in mind for when you are teaching IRL).

It’s a CV19 world! You can change your offerings, schedule and how you teach clients to however WORKS FOR YOU! But, that doesn’t mean you’re worth less just because you are teaching less or not teaching in your studio.

Focus on the VALUE. Take the time to go through all the testimonials. What do clients say about why they take Pilates or fitness with you? People don’t care about Pilates or Barre or HIIT. They care about how you help them. The value you bring to their life which they pay you for with money. You teaching them =energy. They repay that energy with money aka energy. But, you have to tell them WHY YOU! What do you offer them (that’s not a discount).

LOVE YOUR SELF! If you take this time to do some deep self-work, why you do matter? Why you are worth charing more etc.? You will see massive growth in your business when we are on the other side of this. Maybe you need to see a therapist right now or read some books that will help you see how amazing you are and help work through whatever is causing you to feel like you need to discount yourself or teach for free to be relevant. We have been given a gift to get to know ourselves more than ever. That famous quote “Wherever You Go There You Are” has never been more true. Do not try to run from this time. Instead, dive in deep. What do you want out of life? How can you use this time to create the space to make that happen?

My fitness pro, I freaking love you. Prior to CV19 I saw what discounting services did to many peoples businesses. It wasn’t pretty and it doesn’t work. If you base your business of a price and that’s your focus for getting clients it will be a race to the bottom. Someone out there will always be able to go cheaper than you. Focus your efforts on who you want to serve, why your rock so much and charge your worth. You’ll be able to thrive on the other side of this.

xx~LL

PS if you need to talk more about this please contact me for a coaching call or join AGENCY and get the support of an entire community!

How to Make Room For New Offerings, Opportunities and Income Streams

When your schedule already feels full it can feel impossible to work on a new goal. You want to start teaching a new class, offer a workshop or lead a retreat but you barely have time to do the admin of your business. You’re tired of saying “when I have time.” Or, “if I wasn’t so busy I’d be doing…” And, you’re feeling stuck, frustrated or anxious because you’re feeling called to grow and your schedule doesn’t have any more room for what’s next. Sound like you?

I hear ya. I too have tried to use the excuse “I’m too busy.” When it came to why I wasn’t working on one of my goals.

And, sure, I am busy. I was busy. And I’ll likely be busy tomorrow.

We are all busy. But being busy isn’t an excuse for not doing the thing you want.

It’s likely fear.

And that’s ok.

It also might be limiting beliefs that you can be the person to do what it is you want to do.

Or, maybe you’re waiting for it to be “ready.”

But, truth, if you’re wanting to add a new offering, or create a new income stream, or be able to take on a potential opportunity you will make the time.

And, creating space for what you want is the way to getting what you want.

So, how do you do that?

One of my members of AGENCY asked: “How do I make room to offer workshops when my schedule is already full?”

Here’s how to make room for new offerings, opportunities, and income streams

  1. You need to get out of your own way. Know the big picture but don’t get stuck there. You only need to know the first next step.
  2. Practice a schedule that prioritizes working on things that will move the nerd forward in your business. You can check out my blog on “Rocks, Pebbles, sand theory.”
  3. Take messy action. Don’t make it “perfect.” There is no such thing anyways. Do the thing as best ya can and learn from it. There is no such thing as failure, there is only feedback.
  4. Find accountability and support. In my coaching group AGENCY members post their goals. This helps them get support, ideas and a biggie, accountability!
  5. Set a deadline. You may miss it but a deadline forces you to take action.
  6. Do it scared. I’m scared most of the time. You can’t control anything. All you can control is what actions you take and then the rest will fall as it may.
  7. Delegate! If you know your numbers then you know how much you can pay someone to do work for you that doesn’t bring you joy, doesn’t bring you money and costs you less than what you make to pay them to do it. I do all my copy my friend but I don’t schedule any of my newsletters. I film all the tutorials but I don’t edit or schedule any of them. It costs me 1/4th of what I charge for an hour to pay someone else to do that work. More tips on hiring here.
  8. Things will take as long as you let it. If you give yourself 20 min to do something you’d be amazed at what you can get done. Give it an hour and it’ll take an hour. So, don’t wait for time. Try to do the thing in the few moments you have and see what you can get done.
  9. Done is better than perfect.

If you follow these tips I can guarantee you’ll learn more about what you want, you’ll see possibilities for the path, you’ll learn a ton about yourself and you keep doing it a year from now you’ll see those new offerings, income streams or opportunities coming to fruition.

It’s easy to look at someone else’s success and think “it was so easy for them.” Or, “they’re lucky.” But the truth is that person just started working on their thing one day at a time. One scared moment at a time. And, you can too!

So, what are you waiting for?

xx~LL

PS here is a course on creating more income streams if that idea intrigues you!

Create More Time in Your Day

Count how many times you say “I don’t have time,” or, “I’m too busy” in a day. How often do you feel like your to-do list grows and you have no idea how because you’re been working all day and are exhausted? Yeah, I know, it’s a lot. You got into teaching because you love it. But, the more you teach the less time you have for you, your practice, and it feels like you’re always saying you’re tired, busy and hoping to get to something to tomorrow. Routines in your morning, day and night can help this circle of stress and lack of time disappear. If you’re ready to create time keep reading.

There are plenty of studies that show how much routines benefit our lives. Even Steve Jobs was so notorious for his routines that many CEO’s copied his thinking it would help them create companies as big as Apple. I had always loved a morning routine but then one day I heard about night routines when I listened to an interview Ariana Huffington did while promoting her book. She said that by having a sleep routine helps prepare our bodies for rest. This sort of routine was a little harder for me to figure out because it was so easy to skip the routine one night or change it up a bit. I mean, we all know about trying to get one last thing done. Or, getting more sleep tomorrow.

But, one day after being consistent with both my morning and night routines. The proverbial sh*t hit the fan and I was so happy to have my routine. Because they really helped me feel in control. And, slowly after time, I realized my routines were allowing me to create time. Wouldn’t you like to create time?

We have to make thousands of decisions every single day. By creating routines, both morning and night, you eliminate these daily decisions that are often repetitive. And allow yourself to have better decision making power later in the day when you’re working on your business, deciding what to create, post, say yes or no to. If your brain is having to make every decision from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed you’re definitely going to feel more than exhausted. And, worse, you’ll likely miss out on opportunities to propel your business forward.

My routines have changed over time. At first, I didn’t know much about what I would need in my routine to help my day be more productive. So, I tried out different ideas for a while until I figured out what worked the best for me. And, even recently I added something new to my morning routine. So, as I share my routines below remember that this has been a work in progress. You will want and need to figure out what works the very best for you. But, feel free to try these out and make them your own. I also added some suggestions for creating routines below.

Morning

Monday-Friday

  • wake up between 4:15 am-4:45 am and drink a large glass of water
  • Run my dog Bayon 3ish miles often with my neighbor
  • Get coffee and say hi to the baristas (this makes me feel like I live in a neighborhood).
  • Make Brad french press coffee feed Bayon his special breakfast
  • Say my gratitudes out loud while holding Gaia in the kitchen
  • (NEW) Ask Gaia and the universe some questions that “I wonder….?”
  • Go to HIIT or do my Pilates workout.

Weekends

  • wake up between 5:15-6am walk get a coffee and walk Bayon around our neighborhood.
  • Saturdays I call another female biz owner and we talk about what’s going on in our lives, businesses and what we are excited about. Sundays talk to a family member.
  • Saturdays my neighbor and I attend HIIT classes and get a yummy breakfast before enjoying a day off. Sundays I go into work. Before workouts or work the above routine still applies.

During workdays, my schedule is very consistent. I know when I am teaching and when I am doing marketing, content creation, meditation, and email. This makes it easier to know when I will get to “that thing” when someone needs it. I am super protective of my time blocks. They allow me to “drop-in” to writing, meditating and teaching much faster because I know when I am doing what.

Evenings:

  • after dinner another glass of water
  • write down anything that is on my mind to get done the next day (these things often come closer to the evening).
  • shower, face wash, brush teeth.
  • Read for a few minutes (nothing that requires much thought) considering a mediation here instead so I may be testing this.
  • Turn a sleep story on.
  • Asleep between 9:30-10ish pm.

Here are some resources for you to try out ideas for your own routines:

  1. Daily Routine tip
  2. Intention Routine building 
  3. Morning and Night Routines

If you could get back more of your decision making powers what would you do? Maybe you’d have more time for your own practice? Or, maybe you’ll finally get to those blogs or newsletters you’ve been wanting to do?

Your life is too good to let it be ruled by what work you didn’t get done. And, your business should be working for you and not you working for it. The start of creating the dream work schedule or even an ideal work schedule comes from your ability to have boundaries around when you will and won’t teach. And that muscle gets stronger by practicing a routine.

What routines do you keep and how do they help you?

I’d love to hear about your routines in the comments below.

xx~LL


PS. I credit my routines to my lack of jet lag when I travel to teach workshops and retreats in this blog.

What is the Difference Between a Blog and a Newsletter?

Blogging vs Newsletter? This is a question I get often from fitness professionals, Pilates teachers, and Studio owners all the time! The follow up to this question is “which one do I need to do?” Or, “do I need to blog and write newsletters?” So, today I am going to explain the differences between a blog and a newsletter and answer if you need one, the other or both!

What is a Blog? Let’s get real for a moment when I started blogging about four years ago (wow 4 years of biz blogs for ya) I fought my biz coach and SEO pro’s on the need to blog. I thought blogging was dead, everyone wanted to find things on Social Media and that no one would read it. But, I was so so wrong! While I may not make a living as a blogger (although some people still do) blogging is still hands down the biggest help in people like you finding me. The search engines love blogs because they read words on the internet to help find articles (pages on websites) that answer peoples questions. They want your site to be the answer to peoples searches. If they provide the best answers to what people are searching for then those people will use their search engine all the time (aka they can hit them with ads). So, your blogs are free advertising for your biz because if your blog answers peoples questions Google and other engines will promote your site! How freaking cool is that?

Blogging also allows you to attract your ideal client. Instead of blogging about a basic answer to what Pilates is you can blog about how Pilates helps a particular ache, sport, hobby, demographics etc. Blogging allows you to show how you’re the expert in your area. And, allows future clients who land on your site to see how awesome you are!

Blogging also updates your website. Yes, you want this! It tells the internet that your site is fresh and being taken care of. If you thought you could make your site once and leave it alone until you raised your rates or updated your bio I hate to break it to you but your website might be a bit “dusty.” I write a blog every week on all my sites. This keeps my websites at the top of the searches! And, I didn’t pay for that.

I could go on and on about blogging, but I already have in this course about blogging. So, if you’re ready to dive into blogging for your biz please take it here.

What is a Newsletter? A newsletter is a direct communication between you and your peeps. Anyone who opts into your list can receive this newsletter. Yes, they should opt-in vs you adding them in especially if you do business with the EU. Newsletters should add value to your clients and are great ways to create communication with your past clients, current clients and future clients. Newsletters allow you to remind people about classes, holiday schedules, events, etc. Some businesses send daily newsletters. I enjoy sending weekly newsletters. And, while a monthly newsletter is also fine it may not have the same effect as something a little more frequent and consistent.

What you put in a newsletter is more current event like. It has CTA’s (call to action) and those who are on your list want to be on your list. They put their info in and said: “Yass, please talk to me.” And, like blogs, people do think emails are dead they are still wrong. Here’s why do you remember when FB and IG went down? Almost a whole day was lost and millions of dollars were lost in ad spend. If you rely simply on social media to share updates, events, etc not only are you betting your business on the whim of other businesses but what happens if any of these platforms decide to change the rules? What happens if they get shut down? As it is if you’re lucky only 6% of your followers see your stuff. Read that again, 6% of your followers might see your stuff. But, a newsletter goes directly into your client’s inbox and if you’re good with the subject lines they get opened, read and more!

Like a blog, newsletters must add value. If you are just telling me what workshop you’re selling this month I’m unlikely to get to the end and hit “sign me up.” But, if you share info (which can feel like a blog but it’s not because a blog is on your website) then tell me how the workshop or class you’re offering goes along with that added value I’m more likely to say “take my money.” Does that make sense?

What you put in your newsletters really depends on you and your business. If you want my newsletter 101 course contact me here. For those of you already writing newsletters who want to take them to the next level join me on my next webinar here. But, keep them fun, think of them as writing to a penpal. What would you say to a friend you haven’t seen in a week, month or year? Why do they need to hear this? How can they hear more?

Do you need a blog, a newsletter or both? Great questions! I am so glad you asked. I am going to say you need both. They serve two massively different purposes. Blogging attracts people to your site but once they are there the likelihood of them coming back is slim. Unless they become a client and have to come back to sign up for sessions or classes then any updates you make to your site, your schedule, your offerings may not be seen. So, having a newsletter that shares these updates is key to getting eyes on all your good stuff! If you just do a newsletter then your website won’t be able to be the best assistant you ever had. It can’t be the answer to peoples burning internet questions if you don’t have answers. How often you blog and send newsletters is up to you. I share a TON about these things in my online coaching group. And we can dive deeper into what’s the perfect combo for your business in there.

I know you are thinking how on earth will I have the time and also what the heck am I supposed to write about? Make sure you read my blog about “not working all the time” and take my blogging and newsletter courses. The answers to all this and more are definitely in there. But, if you want to do more of what you love and make a living doing it then I would find the time to make both happen consistently.

Now, you tell me, what are you going to blog about next? What will your newsletter subscribers hear about in your next newsletter? You can share in the comments below or hit me up!

xx~LL 

6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get More Clients

This one is for all my Pilates teachers, studio owners and fitness professionals looking to grow their classes, their schedule and who never want to worry about what’s gonna happen if a client moves. Yep, if you’re still reading then this blog is for you!

Here’s the deal, no matter how good you are a client will move, take a break, get sick or call it quits. It happens. And, it’s not personal. Remember that. But, if you are not doing these things below then you will find yourself scrambling to fill their time slots when they leave. If you are doing these tips below then you’ll feel calm and excited for the next client that will take their slots.

Ready to have a waitlist or a consistent flow of potential new clients?

Good! I was hoping you would say so.

  1. Have an updated website! When’s the last time you looked at yours?
  2. Grow your newsletter list and write to it consistently! I know, you’re not sure what to say. I’ll be talking about that more in my next webinar. So if you don’t already have a spot on your website to capture those emails.
  3. BLOG! If you have been following me for a while you are probably waiting for me to give you a reason to not blog. Guess what? Not gonna happen. Blogs help your SEO. Good SEO means people find your website and that means they get on your list and get to hear from YOU!
  4. Talk to your ideal client in all your posts. Yep, those FB, IG, Tweets, blogs, and newsletters. All of it! You need to be picturing one person. Your client avatar!
  5. ABG- Always be generous- this doesn’t mean don’t follow policies and charge your worth. But, it does mean focusing on the clients you have and making sure that you are helping them be a walking advertisement for you. Create a referral program, it doesn’t have to be complicated but it does make them feel like they want to share you with others because they feel special when you are generous with them in ways that you can be.
  6. Tell people who you are, what you do and why you are good at it! Too pushy? Fine, then tell people who you are, whom you are for and how you help make their lives better. Still no onboard? Tell 5 strangers you’re a Pilates teacher and see what happens! I bet you’ll have to tell them whom you are for and why they should take with you. You have to tell people what you are offering. All the time!

Which of these tips will you do this week?

xx~LL 

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

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Pilates Business

Sometimes I am grateful I didn’t know what I didn’t know when I started my Pilates teaching business. Although to be fair, I had eight years retail experience with seven years in management and a degree in communication so I wasn’t coming into the business side of things without experience in business. But, I know that my background is not normal. And, that many Pilates instructors come from a variety of experiences and that can mean starting out as a teacher and feeling lost and unsure. And, feeling alone. I mean, even if you are teaching in a studio with a bunch of other Pilates teachers when you are new you don’t always feel like you can ask about the business side of things. So, there is a lot of learning as you go into this Pilates world. Which was the impetus to my book but I do hope that this week’s blog post with contributions from teachers and studio owners far and wide gives you some insight and some comfort.

I will start off this what I wish list! I wish I knew that there was no one way to offer sessions, packages, and classes. I wish that ten years ago I knew then what I know and absolutely believe now…that when you know what you want you create the business that aligns with the way you are inspired to offer your services.

I wish I knew that you can say no. I learned very quickly, of course, the hard way and I am a massive proponent that you say no to every session or client that doesn’t align with your goals and soul.

I wish I knew in the beginning that there would be enough time to take all the continuing education. And, instead of signing up for EVERY workshop I was a bit pickier with my time and money.

I also wish I had been comfortable in my own teaching abilities from the beginning. If you are new to teaching you are exactly where you need to be! Keep practicing, observing and asking questions.

Now, I probably could go on for pages but how about hearing from some of you!

Rae Snyder of Infinity Pilates and Yoga:  Finding your Niché: When I was first branding my business (in 2009) I thought Pilates wasn’t well known enough in Waco and that my studio needed a little help from Yoga! Everyone had heard of yoga but not everyone had heard of Pilates so I thought combining the 2 would be a win-win! I was sadly mistaken! Maintaining both a specialized Yoga space and Pilates space proved to be too much! I was serving 2 very different markets and was trying to be too many things for too many people! After a few failed hiring attempts, where Yoga instructors and I did not mesh, I decided to focus solely on Pilates! I really wish someone had told me about finding your niché and going hard in that one area before I decided on a name for my business, Infinity Pilates and Yoga!

For the past 4 years, I have focused solely on Pilates and my business has grown steadily in the direction I have always wanted it to grow!! I now have dedicated clients who schedule their lives around their Pilates appointments and actually want to learn what I have to offer!! I am sure a rebranding is in my future!”

The Pilates Pod “I wish I had known how hard it was to find good teachers”

B Pilates and Training “I wish I had promoted myself as well as the studio I worked for. I never really thought of doing that. Also, that I had been firmer with my schedule, I was too available in the beginning.”

Brooke Tyler of CoreSelf and Clasique   “Wish I knew…it will never “level out” and thinking it will, expecting it to get super smooth and ‘stressless’ is actually the greatest source of stress. Expect instead that running a business will never be level, calm, and comfortable. It’s the essence of life well lived and a business continually evolving. It’s uncomfortable. And that’s part of the passion, the hustle, and the creative entrepreneurship.”

And, two more from Rae: “Socially Isolated: When I began my business adventure, Facebook was all the rage! I knew social media was a fun way to stay connected with friends and family, but I never really grasped the impact it could have on my business! And not in the way you might think! I started a Facebook page for the studio and that was about it. I rarely posted anything, because being on the internet constantly made me feel guilty like I was neglecting my clients and teaching! In the beginning, my studio mostly grew by word of mouth and I never gave my studio page much thought. Honestly, marketing on social media was never necessary for me.

Fast forward 8 years and I started an Instagram account to keep up with other instructors in the Pilates community! After attending my first PMA conference I realized how beneficial an online presence could be for connecting with other instructors and sharing ideas! For me, social media was less about marketing myself and more about sharing ideas with like-minded individuals! I didn’t know what I was missing by being inactive on my accounts! I am so thankful I started reaching out to other teachers in this way! No one tells you how lonely being a studio owner can be. Having a community is crucial to preventing burnout and helping you feel grounded in your work.”

“Competition: When I started my studio I shared my space with another instructor. We were separate businesses, but we worked together really well and for a while, we were the only Pilates instructors in Waco! She and I eventually outgrew our space so we decided to part ways. We had 3 clients who had all pursued their teaching certifications while training with us so before we she and I stopped working together, we tossed around the idea of all 5 of us joining forces and creating 1 really awesome studio! My idea didn’t appeal to everyone so we all did our own thing and one of the newer instructors decided to stay with me! I was so nervous about this new level of competition, but we worked really hard to keep a relationship going between us all and honestly, there has been no change in my business and it’s been 4 years now! I still would love to have 1 big studio, but the Pilates scene in Waco is still fairly new so that might be something that happens later!  I wish someone would have warned me that competition will come and go and it’s really not anything to worry about and that when someone rejects a business plan, not to take it personally because you can’t know what everyone is working toward! I originally felt like I was being rejected and that my business wouldn’t make it with so many other studios around! If I had known, then, how it was going to work out I would have saved myself a whole lotta stress!!”

I know there are a thousand times ten more “wishes I would have known” but I had to end it on the big wish I hope you all know. Don’t sweat the competition. Embrace it, no one can be YOU! And, if you read my “notes to inspire” from the other day there is always room for you if you are being your amazing unique self. There is no room for copycats.

Don’t see your wish you here? I would love to hear it! Comment below! Or, share your high fives with one of our contributors.

xx~LL 

PS It’s really ok to not know what you don’t know. But, its even more ok to ask for help!

 

How to Motivate Different Client Personality Types

Personal Trainer and Pilates teacher and lover Michael Myers is back as a guest blogger! This week he shares his advice on motivating clients. As we all know every client has a good day and a not so great day. Some clients can accept a new exercise challenge and others take a correction personally and can even internalize it. As Pilates instructors and Fitness Professionals it can be tricky to find the balance of encouraging a client and discouraging a client, motivating or accidentally discouraging. And, to top it all off even when you think you have figured it out our clients come in for their sessions from where ever they are in their life that day! Lately, it has been on my mind ways to help other teachers create a teaching space that is optimal for all personality types. I asked Michael to share with all of you because he has a special skill in getting his clients to show up and commit even after years and years of starting other programs and quitting.


Clients walk in the door every day with goals and expectations that might have best suited them 10 years ago. However, now that life is starting to catch up with them they have different physical issues or limitations. Let’s just call it general “Wear and tear.” Now the trainer has to come from a place of giving the client what they need opposed to what they want. I see a lot of trainers getting stuck in this place on a daily basis. Whether it be attributed to the trainer’s lack of overall knowledge or overall concern. Once again as Fitness Professionals we must remember clients seek us for our knowledge, and a level of respect is gained when you lead somebody to what they need, opposed to what they might want.

A trainers voice is everything, and we all know the power of words. Trainers must stand strongly behind their voice, training philosophy, and emotion. Yes, I said emotion. Emotion is a strong motivational tool. Clients do not walk into sessions with the expectation to let the trainer down, or not give it 110% (We must remember this is still an investment) However, somewhere between the ears there is a disconnect, but if they feel the genuine emotion behind the coaching they will push that extra mile. It all boils down to the human connection and being personable with your clients. There is no such thing as ego when you’re doing something for somebody else’s best interest.
The trainer’s outlook on Fitness and the clients must always remain positive but never coddling. Once a trainer starts coddling clients, giving positive praise when its totally unwarranted, letting the client dictate the flow of the sessions and allowing the client to manipulate the situation, the trainer has lost. There is no respect for a trainer that consistently gets ran over. A trainer can not motivate somebody that doesn’t have the utmost respect for them. As long as we remain strong inside of our voice, philosophies, and training emotions clients will remain motivated, and trainer will remain respected.

-Michael Myers

Certified Personal Trainer, Michael Myers received a full, four-year football scholarship to Colorado State University, where he played Running Back and kick returner,  graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Human Science. Certified by the International Sports Science Association (ISSA), Stott Mat Pilates, Schwinn Cycling and many other group fitness class programs, Michael has developed a deep expertise that spans a wide variety of training methods. Michael works with a slate of private clients in addition to teaching various Boot Camp classes and Mat Pilates classes at Equinox in West Hollywood and Century City.

Follow Michael on Instagram! 

Join Michael and LL on for more tips and advice on Motivating Clients here and check out our course on Attracting, Challenging and Retaining Male Clients.


What are your challenges do you have when it comes to motivating clients? Share your wins, questions or struggles in the comments below!

xx~LL

 

How to Write a Newsletter That Your Clients Actually Want to Read

You know you have to write them, you know you hate to do it and No, email is not dead! Actually, quite the opposite. When people give you their email they are giving you direct access to THEM. You don’t have to play the algorithm game and wonder if your clients saw that you have a new class, workshop or event. But, what to write? And, how do you get them to click on YOUR email as they go through their inbox? Well, this week’s guest blogger Pilates instructor, Podcaster, and business savvy lady Nikki Naab-Levy is here with words of wisdom you must read!


Something I hear frequently from fellow Pilates teachers is “I haaa-aaate writing my newsletter. I never know what to write about and I always feel like I’m pestering my clients when I do it!”

If you feel like this, you’re not alone.

We become Pilates teachers, because we want to teach movement, not because we want to write newsletters. However, when done well, your newsletter is an opportunity to inspire and educate your clients outside of their sessions, deepen your relationship with potential customers, and build your business.

Also, with the right mindset and approach, it might even be fun.

Here are some tips for writing your newsletter:

  1. When choosing a topic, consider your client’s perspective: If you’re ever stuck on what to write about, it helps to put yourself in your client’s shoes and consider what they are struggling with and what they look to you for help with.

Some good questions to ask yourself include:

What questions do my clients ask me all the time? What are they struggling with?

What is something that I teach all the time that my clients don’t know, which gives them big results?

What is a simple exercise or tip that I could teach my clients, which would give them a quick win with a problem that they are trying to solve?

If you brainstorm a list with answers to these questions, it’s likely that you’ll see some themes emerge. Each of these topics or themes could make great newsletter content. For example, if many of your clients tell you “I LOVE how I feel after our session, but I don’t have equipment at home! What can I do instead?” you could write a newsletter with three exercises your clients can do at home to feel great in between sessions.

If you get stuck, don’t forget it never hurts to ask your clients what they’d like to know more about. Most people are happy to share!

  1. Write about things that light you up: If you’re bored with the topic you’re writing about, your readers will be able to feel it. However, if you pick a topic that you’re genuinely excited to share, your enthusiasm will come through and your clients will be excited to read it too.

Don’t believe me? Think about it in the context of normal life. If you asked your friend if you should try a new vegetarian restaurant and she told you, “Yeah, I guess. They have a lot of vegetable dishes and vegetables are good for you” you wouldn’t want to go there. However, if she told you, “OMG. This place is amazing! The food comes out looking like a work of art, tastes as good as it looks, AND it’s healthy,” you’d be all about it.

  1. Be yourself! Your clients come to you for your knowledge, personality, and teaching style. They don’t come to you, because you can teach them the hundred, which they could figure out from a YouTube video.

The same principle applies to your newsletter. The people on your list are following you because they like your unique voice. This means that your newsletter doesn’t need to read like a 2,000-word research paper on rotator cuff function.

If you write the way that you talk about your work in real life, not only will your newsletter be more fun to read (and write!), but your personality will shine through. This can help you attract more ideal clients because if they like what you have to share in your newsletter, they might decide that you would be great to work with in real life too.

  1. Consider alternative forms of media: Not all newsletters require lengthy text.

If you don’t enjoy writing, ask yourself what form of media would be more fun to communicate through? If you’re more comfortable with video, maybe try sharing an idea or an exercise that way and then including a link to the video as your primary newsletter content.

If you feel comfortable talking, you could do a voice recording, like a podcast. There is now voice recording software and apps that make this easy to do. If you’re visually oriented, you could create a gorgeous image in Canva and include a bulleted list of tips for an exercise or a simple recipe.

  1. Repurpose content you’ve already created: If you’re stuck on what to create there is a good chance you already have something finished that would make stellar newsletter content.

Is there a juicy blog post you recently wrote? You can copy that text and email it to your list. Was there a video that you posted on social media that got a lot of positive feedback? You can write a short paragraph about it, include a link, and your newsletter is done. Not only does this save time for you, but it helps the people on your list see the amazing content you’re putting out, which they might have missed if they weren’t on social media the day you shared it.

  1. Include a call to action: When you send a newsletter, ask yourself, “What do I want people to do with this information?” It could be something sales related like, “Want more ways to improve posture? Book yourself an introductory private,” but it doesn’t have to be.

A call to action could be as simple as “try this exercise the next time you feel stiff” or “Find this helpful? Share it with a friend who could also use this info!”

And on that note, if you try one of these strategies, we’d love to hear how it goes. You can let us know in the comments section below.

 ——————————————————————————————————————–

Nikki Naab-Levy is a Pilates teacher and massage therapist for people who aren’t zen, hate green juice, and are allergic to words like self-love (but kinda need it). She has over a decade of experience helping people build strength, improve mobility, and overcome injury.

Nikki holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and a B.S. in Journalism from Ohio University and is a Master Trainer for the Balanced Body Bodhi Suspension System. Her fitness wisdom has been featured in Greatist, Girls Gone Strong, The Balanced Body blog, and Men’s Fitness.  

When she’s not teaching a sneaky hard Pilates class, you can find her hiking in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Kc, freelance fitness writing, and chain-drinking Americanos. For practical fitness advice + workouts that don’t hurt, visit her website NaabLevy.com or check out her podcast Moving Well on iTunes or Stitcher.

Check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin!

The Magical Land of Pilates Consistency and Innovation

Have you ever found yourself defending a rule you may no longer need? As instructors rules are important but what about when you need to break a rule? Can you? I have a Yoga teacher who talks about following the rules as much as you can when you are first starting out. Why? Because as you advance you’ll need to break them. That is why when this week’s guest blogger Holly Furgason approached me with this blog I had to share it with all of you! Do you know when to be consistent and when to be innovative?

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Can a Multi Level Pilates Class Improve Your Business?

As I’m about to dive into my newest webinar on Group Pilates classes I thought it only fitting to have Joel Crosby owner of Vitality Method in Atlanta, GA shares the importance of multi-level group classes. Afterall, I know many teachers do not often have the space for group classes or perhaps you only have one piece of each apparatus?  Offering group classes can be essential for getting more students in a room, offering options for clients to get more sessions in a week and for some at rates they can afford. But, are you limiting yourself by offering classes where everyone does the same exercises at the same time?

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Ditching the Churn-Tips on Client Retention

One of my clients is getting ready to go off to college. I have been teaching her since she was thirteen years old. I can’t believe that her slots will be open in just a few weeks. Losing a client to college or moving away isn’t anything I can control. In fact, that is an amazing opportunity worth celebrating and a lucky Pilates instructor will be gaining a wonderful client. But, what about those clients who come do a package or two and then miss a session, go on a vacation and then when we follow up…crickets. Where did they go? Why did they go? Was there something I could have done to retain them?

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