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.

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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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How Attractive are You?

Yes, I am a Pilates business blogger. No, this blog post isn’t about your personal looks. But, I used to write dating blogs and give out dating advice. And, the truth is a lot of that advice crosses over to running your Pilates business. So, before you roll your eyes or think this isn’t the advice for you don’t swipe left just yet! Stay with me and see if any of these tips help your business get more looks, hits and if there was an app for finding a Pilates studio some swipe rights.

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How to Wear Cute Pants for a Living

I don’t know about you but I hate cold calls, I hate people trying to sell me stuff, I hate flyers on my car, shoved in my hands or even in my mailbox. I despise people trying to talk to me as I am going into Whole Foods. Ok, maybe hate and despise are strong words. But, I don’t want people trying to bug me about things I don’t want. But, if you and I bump into each other in Whole Foods, if you and I are standing in a long line together at Starbucks, airport security or any line you can pretty much bet we are going to chat, have a laugh, and you will know I teach Pilates.

Not only will you know I teach Pilates but you will know where I teach and what it is to do Pilates with me. I know, you’re thinking “LL you are kind of a hypocrite.” Nope, not at all. See, when people invade my space or litter their advertisements on my car that is annoying. I don’t know who you are. Ok, great you have a product or business you want to tell me about. But, you’re not there when I get to my car. Also, most often you’re trying to tell me about your new restaurant and I’m gluten and dairy free so how do you know I am even your customer. It’s a waste of paper, their time and money.

But, in a store when you and I are in line and you say “fun pants” and I say “thanks! I love them too. I mean, if I have to wear workout clothes for a living they should be cute!” and then you say “oh, yeah, what do you do?” Well, then I’m not pushing my business on you. You invited me into the conversation. I just found a way to bring up that I wear workout clothes for a living. When I tell you “I teach Pilates down the street across from the Starbucks. Do you know it?” I’m not pressuring you, I am just answering your question and asking you one back. My question about if they have been to my studio will get me a couple answers: 1) have they been to the studio where I work 2) if they have done Pilates ( I know I didn’t ask that but they’ll probably answer that hidden question) and given that LA is so neighborhood-based I’ll know if that is even convenient for them.

Based on their response I have a couple options. If I am enjoying the vibe and they haven’t closed the door I can then tell them how awesome Pilates is there, invite them to come and get their card to give them the info. I can give them mine ( I prefer to take theirs so I can follow up with them). Or, I can keep the conversation going. Maybe they need more info about Pilates. Maybe they have some misguided impressions, maybe they are just visiting. The point is until my time is up I am connecting with them about what I do, where I do it and how we can do it together. It’s my mini elevator speech sans an elevator!

My most favorite workshop and role-play to do is my elevator speech workshop. See, the thing is in Pilates many teachers spend a lot of time trying to get heard among the noise on the world-wide-web. Or, they go super old school and do flyers and word of mouth (nothing wrong with this!!! You just don’t have that much control over it). But, you do have control over whom you talk to and what you say and how you say.

  1. What do you do?
  2. Where do you do it?
  3. Why do you love it?
  4. Why should they do it with you?
  5. How can they contact you or more importantly you contact them?

Best part this whole convo cost you nothing! No marketing dollars. You were just out doing your thing!

I know you think easier said than done. But, you can totally do this too! I will tell you how on April 27th in my next webinar (think Workshop on the web). Register here. If you can’t do the time or the date have no fear. I know some of you are live halfway around the globe from me and will be asleep. Some of you are down the street teaching. That’s the beauty of a “replay.” Register anyway and you’ll get an email to watch the replay (it will be up for a few days). You can send in your questions ahead of time at lesley@profitablepilates.com

xx~LL 

PS can’t wait to watch some Business workshops? Check out my Courses here and my latest tutorials for PilatesAnytime.com here you can use my promo code LLOGAN for a 30 day trial.

 

 

Are You Marketing Your Pilates Business the Best Way

Marketing yourself as a Pilates instructor is easier said than done. When I first became a Pilates instructor, I paid way too much for a website. Not that I was robbed or anything. The site was fantastic. Beautiful! It did everything and more. Honestly, it was more than I could afford but at the time all I knew was that I needed a website and it needed to up and running before I finished my last exam. How else was anyone going to find me? Continue reading

3 Ways to Get More Comfortable Selling Pilates with You

Two weeks ago I posted “Why It’s Hard for you to Sell Pilates.” I wanted to follow up with some tips you can do today to make the process easier, more comfortable and less “sales-y.” For more help on getting new clients to purchase, client retention and marketing be sure to check out our one on one coaching, webinars, and past blogs. As promised here are some tips to help you get comfortable “selling” Pilates: Continue reading