You’ve got your Pilates website, your facebook page, your Instagram handle, and you’re posting and liking and following, and your phone and inbox are silent. No new clients are coming through your social channels. Sure, teachers and friends are loving what you’re doing. But, their love isn’t putting money in your bank account and bodies on your reformers. So, what’s happening? What is the disconnect? Are you doing it all wrong?
Your new client walks in, fills out the paperwork, signs the cancellation policy, works out and says “Thanks, I’ll think about it.” And then heads on out and you never hear back from them. First time Pilates sessions are like first dates. For the most part, they all seem pretty great on the surface. But, most first dates are just that, first dates. They don’t all lead (thankfully so) to a second date or more. But, when it comes to our Pilates businesses we would like most first-time sessions to become lifetime clients. Afterall, if they don’t how will we have a sustainable and healthy Pilates business?
How much is Pilates teaching too much teaching? Can you really teach too much Pilates? Well, this week let’s talk about Pilates teaching and what it means. What really is happening in your Pilates teaching schedule?
I have been lucky in life to land some amazing job opportunities. My first job fell into my lap as did my second. My third job I hunted a little bit and got pretty picky but then my Pilates jobs again just made their way to me. So, again, I’ve been pretty lucky! But, when if I were honest I would never advise others to just fall into picking their studio location. I would never want anyone to root their business down and hope for the best. I felt that this discussion could use a voice that has been through choosing a location and not just one but two so far! So, I will let Christa Gurka of Pilates in the Grove take the stage and offer up her wisdom.
This week I have a fantastic blog for you! Seriously, when I asked for guest bloggers at the beginning of 2017 I was honored to get a yes from this week’s author. She has a journey that is far different from my own and her advice is incredibly important for any instructor or studio owner out there. Jessica Valant shares her story from owning a studio to selling her studios. While you might be sitting there thinking you don’t own or you’ll never sell her story is necessary for you to read. You never know what next month or year will bring! Below find out tips to sell or not to sell.
Running your Pilates business isn’t the easiest task out there. Couple that with moving your business and starting fresh and you’ve got yourself a challenge. But, wouldn’t it be great if you already had experience trying to do something challenging? Wouldn’t it be easier to attempt to start over if you knew from experience that with consistency, dedication, and curiosity you would get where you desired to go? I mean, wouldn’t it just be awesome if something already existed in our lives helping us with one of the biggest challenges, our business? Oh, wait, practice Pilates much?
This week’s guest blogger shares her story of moving her studio, starting over from scratch and allowing her Pilates practice to be her business guide. Here is Nicole Martin of Ritual Pilates…
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?
There are people you meet in this teaching world that bring joy to you and your world! This week’s guest blogger Noam Gagnon is one of those people. I was fortunate to meet him before we were both accepted into Jay Grimes and Vintage Pilates program “The Work.” This lead us on a journey together for all of 2016 and now beyond. I cannot express how much love I have and how excited I am for you all to read his advice on the art of teaching. Without further ado here is Noam Gagnon!
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.
Pilates Pro’s as you know I love teaching and traveling! But, this week’s guest blogger Roxy takes teaching and traveling to a whole new level. She has a wonderful story to share and tips for you to take your Pilates teaching around the world. I’m going to let her take it from here!
I’m always a bit surprised when I meet people that are fascinated by what I do and where I’ve lived, only because I believe everyone has a fascinating story and I’ve met so many amazing people with interesting lives.
At the end of the day, if you’re serving the world in a healthy manner with something you’re passionate about, I would say that’s special and exotic regardless of your geographical location. However, if you’ve been stung by the ‘travel bug’ or just curious about what it’s like to teach Pilates and live in different locations around the world than I’d love to share a bit of my story with you.
I could write a novel on this subject with chapters that cover; living in one place for an extended period, guest teaching short-term, teaching at retreats, working with a hotel chain, on a cruise ship or moving somewhere new and starting your own business. They are all very different experiences. There’s a difference between working with someone for a week vs. a month vs. 2 or 3 years. There’s a difference between being a guest or living in that environment.
I have lived and taught Pilates in Paris, throughout Turkey, Thailand and Canada, as well as guest, taught or presented in London, Greece, Spain, Beirut, and Germany (not to mention the occasional client in Monaco or Nice).
How did I end up in all of these places? A clear intention.
For me, a sense of travel has always been innate, and it was through dance that I was introduced to Pilates. When I finally decided to hang up my dance leotard and make my lulu leggings (aka Pilates career) primary, I went to work. I sent out dozens of CV’s and cover letters to various headquarters for cruise ships, resorts, and touring companies, not to mention talking to colleagues and friends. I was determined to travel and teach; I didn’t even entertain the idea of finding a temporary job.
This was back in 2005, and at that time Pilates was in the midst of exploding worldwide. I knew there was a window of opportunity for lucrative positions in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Mind you; I didn’t do it for the money – I was looking from a perspective that I could earn money doing what I’m passionate about and explore new places without going broke. I also knew that this window of opportunity wouldn’t remain open for long. Teacher training programs were expanding and creating instructor trainers that could lead and develop trainers in their own language and their own countries. Naturally. Hence, why Pilates is a household name.
My Pilates training centre has a Job Postings page, and at the time opportunities were ranging from Iceland to Jakarta. The posting for Istanbul, Turkey, caught my eye. A 3-month contract; perfect for my commitment phobia self. Within two weeks I was flown to New York for an interview/audition (teaching a class) and immediately afterward I was offered the position. I immediately accepted. I had decided before the interview that if I were offered the job, I would take it. Then it was signing contracts (this particular contract covered accommodation, airfare, stipend and a monthly salary), getting the tickets, packing and then off I went less than two weeks later.
I was off to a country that I knew absolutely nothing about. I wouldn’t have done it any other way – I went to Turkey with no pre-conceived notions or expectations, I was completely open.
Nowadays, I wouldn’t recommend that, especially with our current state of affairs, it’s always a good idea to know even a little bit about where you’re going.
That was the beginning of this adventure, an adventure that branched out to more opportunities, mentors, beautiful friendships, life lessons, new perspectives and philosophies, enhanced trainings and evolving as an instructor.
It’s an adventure that hasn’t ended.
So you may be thinking ‘I don’t even know where to start or how to find a job outside of my own country.’
No problem. First off – use all of your Profitable Pilates networking and business skills and talk to your colleagues when you’re at conventions and retreats. You’d be surprised who you may meet and never underestimate when that chance meeting can come back to you, think of it as planting seeds of ideas. Some seeds grow, some don’t, and some take time. Secondly – check out the websites of the Teacher Training programs, many of them have classifieds with studios all over the world looking for instructors.
There are many different options for teaching Pilates abroad, you may be hired for a particular studio or hotel chain, or your family may be relocated due to your partner’s job. In that case, you could reach out to studios about teaching possibilities before or after you arrive. Another option is to join various community and expatriate groups and offer your services.
Here are few things to think about before you embark on your traveling Pilates journey.
Everything starts with a why. Your why gives you clarity and the foundation with which to make decisions that will enhance your experience. There’s no right or wrong answer, is it simply to say that you ate a croissant under the Eiffel Tower while you worked in Paris? Did you want a new experience and want to embrace working in a different culture? To learn a language? Save money? Escape a relationship(s)? To cross off a line on your bucket list?
Knowing what drives you will help you determine if you want an experience that’s short-term, long-term, in a warm climate, under what circumstances and working conditions and whether it’s feasible for the present moment or in the future. Going back to your why when you hit any obstacles will keep you motivated.
2) LOOK AT YOUR LIFE & BE REALISTIC
I’ve met instructors from all walks of life ranging from retiree’s to the young and single to families with young children that make it work. That’s why it comes down to your intention. If you’ve recently opened a studio, then it’s probably not the right time to go and teach abroad for six months. If one of your why’s is just to travel and explore, then you may be better off just taking a plain old vacation or attending a retreat or convention. That may end up being more worthwhile for you. If you’re in a committed relationship can and will your partner travel and work abroad as well? Anything is possible and at any phase of your life, but you do need to be smart about it, and it should be financially viable. You don’t want to end up abroad losing money and/or working crazy hours only to be too tired to enjoy the experience.
3) BE OPEN BUT KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES
In general, you want to be open to the various opportunities out there, but you’ve got to be clear about your non-negotiables. Be clear about what your maximum hours are, the lowest you’ll accept as a salary and any other job expectations that you’re willing to do. It’s easy to get excited about a job opportunity in an exotic place and then later realize the expectations are not suitable for you. Remember to breathe and take a moment to really think about any offers. It’s not always about money either, you may work for less pay for an area you’ve always wanted to go to, or there may be other perks to the job that outway a less ideal aspect (example free high-quality training for CEC’s or other modalities). And remember to follow your intuition, if something doesn’t feel right, honor that feeling and explore it further. You may decide, ‘I don’t care, I want the adventure, I want to go with the flow’ that’s cool too, just always know that you made that choice. I’ve done that a few times, but now I’ve been in the game long enough and my current life priorities are different – so I’m much pickier. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve met that went on a holiday to a new place, fell in love with the city or a person, took a leap of faith and have never looked back. Anything is possible.
4) HAVE A CONTRACT
Make sure you have a contract, and you read through the whole thing. If you’re offered a job in a distant land, and they are not clear about the logistics or don’t want to use contracts – trust me, nine times out of 10 it’s going to be a headache for you. Some companies want a year or 2-year commitment, and the contract may have a clause that if you break the contract you have a penalty fee or you reimburse the company for certain expenses (work permit, etc.).
5) KNOW YOUR TAX EXEMPTIONS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY
This is especially important if you live and work abroad long term. Each country is different and has their rules and regulations. You don’t want to be in trouble with the ‘tax man’ at any point.
There you have it, a few things to get you started. Adventures are fun and you never know where your life will take you. Teaching around the world has been invaluable to my growth not only as a human being but as an instructor. I’ve met amazing people as clients, friends, colleagues and I even met my husband abroad.
Roxy Menzies, originally trained in STOTT® Pilates is based between Istanbul and Toronto. Currently developing programs for Michael King Pilates she has taught dance and various movement modalities for the Canadian Educational system, professional dance companies, and Cirque du Soleil. She has presented, guest taught or performed in London, New York, Paris, Beirut, China, Turkey, and Thailand.
Got the travel bug? Or, just ready to try out a new location on for size? Be sure to comment, share and check out more from Roxy on her handles below. Thank you Roxy for your wonderful tips and beautiful story.
And, one last note from our dear Roxy
“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck”.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Join me for 1 or all of these webinars Live from where ever you are or watch the replay (each webinar will be up for 3 days for those who cannot view live. Buy one at a time, or if you buy 3 you’ll get automatic access to the “Converting First Time Clients webinar. If you buy the whole summer series (link below) you get the Converting webinar and the Q & A automatically! Buy more and save. Make this summer your Pilates business summer!
Let’s Get SOCIAL with Your Pilates Business (Part 1) June 8th 12:00pm PST
You might already be using social media in life and trying to use it for your Pilates business. But, is it giving you the return you’re hoping for? This first part of our webinar series will cover the basics and then some! So, whether you know about social media or not starting with this webinar will help you answer questions:
-when to post
-where to post
-should you have separate socials for personal and professional
-What handles you should have…what the heck is a handle anyways
-Do you measure your worth by “Likes” and “Follows”
plus: homework that will get you moving in the right direction
Buy this one all by itself here
Let’s Get Social with Your Pilates Business (part 2) June 22nd 12 pm
In this webinar, we will dive deeper into the many options Social besides just posting comments. Like “What’s LIVE got to do with it?” and How about IG, is it the OG and what’s the deal with “Stories.” And something I’ve become super passionate about is “handling Social trolls.”
If interested in only a la carte go here
The Riches are in the Niches 7/6 12 pm pst
You’ve heard the saying “if you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one.” This applies to trying to teach everyone too! Niche-ing out can seem like you’re limiting yourself. But, in this webinar, we will discuss how to discover your niche, define your niche and refine your niche.
Snag your spot here
Attracting New Pilates Clients 7/20 12pm
It’s part of the business…making sure that new business is finding its way into our studios and on our schedules. In this webinar, we will discuss how to maximize your marketing efforts without throwing money at it. Also, bonus! We will discuss how to attract your ideal new client!
Ditching the Churn-Client Retention 8/3 12 pm
It’s cheaper to keep and existing client then it is to get a new one. So, how can you keep your existing clients coming back week after week and month after month and of course…year after Pilates-loving year!
How to have a life as a Pilates Instructor 8/12 1 pm pst
You got into teaching because you loved Pilates! You have been working your heart away and then you realize one day you don’t seem to have a much of a life. Or, your friends and family just don’t seem to understand why you can’t take off vacations like they can. And, what about time for yourself and your Pilates practice?! This webinar will cover all things to balance your love for teaching and your love for a living!
Group Classes 8/17 12 pm pst
So, you offer or want to offer group classes. But, how much do you charge? When do you offer them and how do you fill them? This webinar is all about the groups baby. We will also discuss if group classes are right for you and techniques in teaching (note this is not an exercise list but rather a skills list).
BONUS EPISODE: Converting First Time Clients 8/31 4 pm pst
When a new client comes into the studio for their first session it’s huge! They don’t grow on trees and it’s not every day they are banging on your door. So, how you teach them is important and it’s also unique. This webinar will cover how to teach a first time client to get them coming back again and again. It’s been a hit in the past and here’s one past attendee experience: “I tried my new client’s why into our session and asked a lot of questions from her intake form and limited my corrections. She bought a 10 pack of classes without hesitation!”
$75 if buy it a la carte or free if purchasing 3 or more Summer Session Webinars. Go here to purchase your three a la carte and we will email you to give you access to this one.
Q & A 9/7 12pm pst
While all webinars are all about you Pilates teachers this webinar is literally all about YOU! Send in your questions ahead of time or ask them live (note if watching the replay send questions in ahead of time so they are answered). Any Pilates biz question you’ve got and any question you’re just not sure who to ask…If I can’t answer it I’ll tell you who probably can.
$60 a la carte or free if you buy the summer series
(Cost of all 9 =$630 if bought individually) If you buy 3 or more you get the Converting First time clients for free ($75 savings). If you buy the whole series at once its $495 and you get the Q&A and Converting first-time clients free ($135)
Which webinar’s will you be at?
People often comment on how I have more hours in the day. I take this as a compliment! If people think I have more hours in a day, then that means I’m getting my work done and making work look easy. Ok, maybe now I’m gloating a bit too much.
But, as a Pilates instructor, like you, my days are super packed. I have clients to teach, bill, research, and plan sessions for. I have my Pilates practice, hobbies, life, dogs, etc. all to fit into the same amount of time in a day.
As Pilates instructors, we have to promote our businesses and work in our businesses, and you know, have a freaking life! So, how do you do it?
The simple answer is time management. (Insert eye roll here) But, what does that mean anyway?
If you were on my “Teaching your Schedule” webinar, then you already know my best tips for creating a plan that works for you. If you missed it then check out this course “Never a Dull Moment” to get those tips and then add these-
1) Write out your goals for the week and then spread them over each day of the week. Each day you can review the intentions of the day, but if you don’t look ahead, it’s easy to miss out on important projects or feel behind. Waking up and writing down what you need to do that day is awesome. But, if you are not aware of how today effects tomorrow and next month and next year then you will burn out so quick. It will feel like all your efforts don’t amount to anything. But, planning ahead allows you to make each day important because it’s part of a whole plan.
2) Get an assistant!! Before you roll your eyes at me via my blog (again), hear me out. I know they cost money! But, having someone do the things that you hate doing will give you more time than they take up. Now, if you can’t afford a whole person then get creative. What can you delegate off or schedule out in advance? If your clients do their scheduling online, that eliminates your need to text and remind them of sessions. Again, notes from my webinar or course will help out with this part. But, having set teaching hours your clients can commit to will help you know when you are working and having a system that reminds them will allow you more time to do all the other things. Bonus, you’ll know in advance when you work in person with clients and when you will have time for other things…like life!
3) Auto send your social media! Alright, my friends, this is my biggest key to having a life and getting your social stuff done! If you follow my social media, it’s no secret. I don’t hide it all most all my posts say “published by Coschedule.” I use Coschedule to post all of my weekly posts on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I can write one post and choose all my handles or I can pick and choose which handles will get what post.
Sure, I do live messaging, especially on my personal pages. But, my business profiles I know in advance all the messages I need to send. Think about it…you probably know yours too.
I sit down at the beginning of every month and write out all the projects I have. I organize all my thoughts and then which social channels have to promote it. I then schedule out my posts on each of my handles using CoSchedule. Every week I review and add anything that is missing.
CoSchedule is an editorial calendar for your blog and content marketing that keeps you insanely organized while saving you tons of time.
Trust me I am not tech savvy. You know that part where I said: “hire an assistant?” Well, I hired a whole tech team! But, my social posts are all me my Pilates pros! I even write my blog posts like this one in CoSchedule, and underneath the post, I can schedule the social that goes along with it in the post! Then I just hit the check mark and done. A whole blog post and all it’s social are ready to go for the week.
The best part is …drum roll please….just recently they launched an app which allowed me to do tons of scheduling while in traffic coming home from a weekend away. Yep, I taught a whole week, took a trip and still got my social marketing done and never had to open my computer!
Teachers, one of the biggest reasons we feel like we don’t have enough time is that to do all the things that go along with having a Pilates business means being online as much as we are in person teaching. And, I get it, I got into teaching Pilates, so I didn’t have to be at a computer gig.
But, ever since I started using CoSchedule (over a year now) I have had more time and more energy. Plus, I actually can use it (HootSuite and some other scheduling systems were too big and too techy for me). Every week I get an email telling me how my blogs did. Which is an added bonus? My tech team is always aware, but a user-friendly email designed just for me (ok maybe not just for me) is a huge bonus to letting me know what’s working and what’s not.
Lastly, CoSchedule will help you learn how to schedule and what to schedule. Yep, they’ve got a blog and tutorials too!
So, that’s my big secret for having more hours in my day. I have my business stuff auto post so that I can spend my time in real life talking to you, walking my dogs, doing my Pilates and you know, all the things!
Check out the tutorial video on their awesomeness here and get a discount on using my name here!!
Ready to have more of a life?
Not sure, if this will work for you? I can totally help you figure out what to schedule and Coschedules “Best time” will help you determine when to schedule!
Ps…all the links to CoSchedule are unique promo codes so you and I benefit from using them. Or you can simply go to Coschedule.com and do your thing!