How to Fix the Problems in Your Pilates Business

If you are looking at your week ahead and about to have a freak out about how o earth you’re going to get it all done you are so not alone! As Pilates instructors and studio owners, wives, husbands, partners, human beings there is a ton to do. You’ve got your clients, all the tasks that go along with that and you’ve got your life and all that happens in that. And, oh, that tiny thing like making money and propelling your business forward. How on earth can you do it all without freaking out?

  1. Know what your problems are and ask yourself why that problem exists.
  2. Create a plan of action that addresses this problem
  3. Hold yourself as accountable as you hold your clients
  4. Hold your clients accountable to the policies you told them about when they started
  5. Worry about what you can do and let others worry about the rest.

See, it’s so easy! F

Ha! Wouldn’t that be awful if I ended the blog there? “Here are you 5 tips for a week where you get it all done. Ok, GO!”

Look my fellow fitness pro you have a freaking ton going on. But, the first part of getting your business running the way you want it is to know what the problems are and why you have them.

Problem: You’re not making enough money

Why aren’t you making enough money?

-You are not teaching enough

-you are not charging your worth

-you’re not charging for late cancels

Fix: Set a goal that helps fix the problem. If you are not teaching enough but you are charging enough and holding others accountable then we got to get you known! We have to get your website working for you! We have to get your more clients.

If you are not charging enough we need to figure out how much you need to make, how many hours you want to work and find an average rate that will take all those sessions to add up to what you are desiring to make this year. I do this a lot when I coach others and in my AGENCY group.

If you are not holding people accountable to your policies then this is the week you remind people of what those are and you stick to them! Not only will you feel more respected but people will value their sessions with you more too!

See how these 5 steps help you solve your problems? What problem do you feel you have? Why is that problem occurring? What steps can you take this week to fix that problem and help you grow your business?

If you’re not sure then please contact me here. Let’s figure out a plan together that is possible. There are enough clients to go around and your tribe is awaiting your arrival.

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 

Questions to Ask All New Pilates Clients

When I first became a Pilates instructor I only knew to have new clients fill out the “New Client Intake Form” sign a liability release form and then do my best to show them that I and Pilates were exactly what they needed! Does that sound familiar to you? It wasn’t too long into my teaching career that I realized I needed to know even more than an intake form asked. And, while I am sure you are sitting there, reading this and nodding your head with me I should say that I’m not talking about their body.

Not that more info about their body isn’t necessary! But, for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to talk more specifically about other things that give integral info for taking a new client into a regular client. Here are just a few that I like to ask new clients during their first session.

  1. What do they think Pilates is?
  2. Where have they done Pilates in the past?
  3. Have they ever paid for a fitness instructor before?
  4. How much time each week they can devote to doing Pilates?
  5. Why are they coming to do Pilates?
  6. What other workouts do they do and how often?
  7. When do they expect to see results

Often times these questions lead to other questions as I dive deeper into who they are, what motivates them, how strong their commitment to their body and goal is, how realistic their expectations are and more. See, I believe that in a first session clients are not going to fall madly in love with Pilates. And, while I know that it is possible, I was someone who totally did fall head over heels for Pilates halfway through my first class every client is different. Some clients are so disconnected from their bodies that they are not going to feel most of Pilates. So, rather than overcorrect them and spend time telling them everything they are doing wrong. I spend my time trying to connect to them, find out how Pilates can fit in with their life today and then potentially change it for the better.

It does require being a little more conversational and being like a detective. But, by the time their session is over, you’ll be able to confidently tell them a Pilates workout regimen that will fit in with their life and their goals. For example, if someone wants to have a full on body makeover by their wedding in 6 weeks and you find out they travel for work every other week you can confidently share with them what you are capable of doing by their wedding if they come every day they are in town. It allows you to be more honest and authoritative without being condescending. Or, if someone needs to do Pilates three times a week but they have been sharing with you that they have never paid for a fitness instructor before you’ll have that knowledge in your head. You’ll be able to say “I know that it’s a big leap to go from never working out to three times a week Pilates practice. But, your goals for coming here were ___ and your body needs more ____ so a consistent practice three times a week will help you get to your goal by ___ _. Or we can do twice a week and potentially get close to your goal by ____.”

You are a great body reader as a Pilates instructor but psychic’s and mindreaders we are not! However, by asking these questions and more you’ll be a fabulous detective that will help every person that comes looking for Pilates find the plan that works for them and for you.

For more on this subject join me on August 30th for my next webinar “Ask the right questions for Client Conversion and Client Retention.” We will be discussing how to layer these questions in, follow up questions and questions to ask after they have become a client to continue client retention.

Got a question that you like to ask? Share it with our readers by commenting below!

xx~LL

How to Make Strong Teacher-Client Relationships

Client retention is as integral to your Pilates business as you are. If your clients are not consistent not only does that affect how much you make each week it also can cause you to have to constantly get new clients or manage more clients than you have time to teach. Does this sound familiar to you: A client says they want to come in three times a week and then they move a session here, ask last minute to switch another session. Cancel the next two sessions because they have lunches or dinners, can’t get into the studio because they have this, that and the other. They want to do Pilates three times a week but they are trying to fit Pilates into their life. This song and scheduling dance is not only frustrating for you it’s also exhausting. And, to add more stress about it if they don’t come in consistently then they will not enjoy all the benefits of Pilates and so then of course…bye bye Pilates!

So, how do you manage your client’s schedule and yours? Well, first let me just tell you that you do not have to manage your client’s schedules like you manage yours. But, if you can motivate your Pilates clients to schedule their life around Pilates instead of the other way around then your Pilates business will not only be healthy it will continue to grow. Client consistency is key for Client Retention and their consistency equals reaping the benefits of Pilates which means their friends will notice how strong they are, how well they stand and want some of you too! Hello, client referrals!

Create a strong teacher client relationship by-
1) Know what your client does when they are not doing Pilates.
2) Remember events that are important to them.
3) Schedule them in advance. Tell them to book their sessions a month in advance to ensure they don’t miss their sessions
4) Remind them to “make up” missed sessions by rescheduling vs canceling
5) Let them know when a time they like becomes available
6) Look ahead at holidays and vacations that may affect them and get suggest times they can do to reschedule in advance.
7) Don’t be afraid to be unavailable! People like a busy restaurant!
8) Remind your clients of their goals and why they come
9) Don’t offer every available hour you have. Use the “which” rule. “I have this time or this time which would you prefer?”
10) Be more than the hour-long entertainment. If Pilates is integral to them feeling good then you won’t have to work as hard to get them to come in regularly.

Look, I get that many of these are easier said than done. But, I promise you managing your clients is easier when you teach them from the beginning that you are not just sitting around waiting to teach them. That, even if you have all the time in the world, you are not a beck and call teacher. Studies show if people are given too many options they have to “think about it.” But, if they only have a couple options they can make a decision. If you tell a client they can come in anytime on a Monday then they are going to go and plan their whole Monday and fit Pilates in. And, chances are they will be running late or not be able to get in because they are “too busy.” But, if you tell them two options that are near times you know they like then they will schedule their life around the session.

I get it, it’s not easy to say no to a client or to hold your clients accountable but it’s essential in your self-care as an instructor, making it easy for you to manage all of your clients, and will create a strong relationship with them. If your clients are getting their Pilates in regularly with you because you keep them consistent they are going to realize that you are more than a person they see in their week. You are the person who helps them do their week. When you remember life events they are going to feel special and more than a name in your calendar. And, all of this helps grow your Pilates business.

Which one of these things are you going to work on? Let me know below in the comments. If you have any questions feel free to contact me here. Let’s make your client schedule consistent and as full as you want it!

xx~LL

PS for more on creating an optimal learning environment check out this blog and this one for motivating different personality types.

Are These 3 Things Holding You Back?

What happens when LL and Cool J get together?! Well, read on to find out! This week’s guest blogger is a soul sister of mine and I couldn’t be more honored to have her share her words here with you in this week’s blog post. Jenna Zaffino, Pilates Teacher, Business Coach, Podcast host and way more than words can describe has shared three common limiting beliefs and help for each of them.  As you read this week’s blog ask yourself if any of this sounds familiar to you. And, if it does let’s talk! Limiting beliefs are walls keeping you from what you want. And, as you’ll read Jenna and I know that there is so much magic on the other side of every wall.  Jenna, take it away!


As a career coach, I’ve been fortunate to work with Pilates Pros around the world.  My favorite part of coaching is learning about the various cultures in different studios.  This provides a great reminder that we are all connected through this beautiful method. 

Most similarities amongst global Pilates teachers fall into the positive realm; health conscious, movement enthusiasts, love the Pilates Method forever and ever, etc. On the opposite end, however, I have seen some major universal themes that get in the way of the progress of Pilates Professionals and create negative stories that hold us back from the true potential of our work.

The following are what I’ve seen to be the top 3 limiting beliefs of Pilates Pros, along with some perspective that may help you see your situation in a new light.

  1. Suffering is part of the job.

Many teachers believe that they must suffer in order to provide help for others. For some, it’s getting paid less than they are worth (or working for free,) for others, it’s working far too many hours in the name of providing help.  The truth is, suffering, rather than thriving will, in fact negatively affect your work. The suffering mindset breeds resentment, irritability, hopelessness and ultimately is a gateway to burnout.  What starts out as a noble sacrifice can quickly become a burden – especially when it negatively affects your finances. To me, it’s about the ripple effect.  If you are paid what you are worth, you may be able to lessen your hourly workload, which preserves your energy for the clients you still see.  When those clients have a quality experience with you, they will be more likely to refer you to the people and opportunities who will appreciate the wholeness of your work and pay you for it.  Start thinking about the areas where you might be overextended.  What is one small change you can make to move towards an energy of thriving rather than surviving?

       2. I should do it all myself to save money.

I used to live and breathe this tenant to a fault.  Then, one day, a successful entrepreneur asked me what I was best at.  “Teaching Pilates!” I exclaimed.  He said, then do more of that and hire someone to do the things that drain you.  The idea of spending money on help can be daunting, but each time I have invested in my business by taking something off of my plate that allowed me to do more of my great work, I have reaped the benefits 10-fold.  Today, I run a small business of just me as the teacher/coach/podcaster AND I have a full-time Operations Director.  She provides the platform for me to shine.  On paper, I may save some $$ without an employee, however, without the help of a teammate, I would most certainly be in burnout mode every day.  What is one area that you can outsource? Laundry, reception internships, and housekeeping are 3 great areas from which to start taking some work off of your place.

       3. I have to stick with the known model of running a Pilates studio.

I feel like this one is a doozy, however, the more I’ve worked with clients to individualize their business practices, policies and procedures to the needs of their business, the more I have seen their businesses thrive.  If you’ve owned a studio, or even run a private practice, you know that there is a certain way that things are done as “norms” in the industry.  The thing is, there are no rules as to how you run your business other than the policies and procedures must serve both your clients and your bottom line.  Have slow months in the summer? Why not run your annual budget on a 10-month projection.  Need to ensure that classes are attended? Why not offer pre-registration for class series?  I encourage my clients to get creative with their models, not only from the standpoint of differentiating themselves from other competitors but to make their business work for them.  What is one way you would like your business to serve you better?

Join me on June 28th with Lesley as we bust through some of your limiting beliefs to help you make the shift towards thriving in your business!


Yes, you read that right! Jenna and I will be teaming up to help you with your Pilates business questions, concerns, problems, projects and more! All you have to do is register here and then send in your questions here. Join us live for the webinar or enjoy the replay for up to one week.

xx~LL

For more Jenna Gems check her out on Facebook, Instagram, her website and her podcast.