Posts Tagged ‘Pilates Business marketing’
Have you ever had the experience of being overwhelmed by someone else’s exuberance and energy?
Maybe your friend is on the other end of the phone telling you about their new job.
Or you’re at dinner with your best friend and they announce they’re having a baby.
The feeling is positive, uplifting and contagious; bubbling over and making everyone who walks by your table smile!
And you’ve experienced what happens when there’s a negative “vibe”.
The energy pulls you down, the atmosphere feels heavy and the tension can become unbearable.
So what can you do if you experience this as an Instructor or Studio owner?
Learning how to shield energy will help you remain unaffected by negative energy and allow you to teach and grow your Studio without feeling blocked.
Firstly it’s a good idea to consider what or who may drain your energy:
- You may have a client or a class that makes you feel exhausted,
- You may have a friend or colleague that leaves you feeling wrung out, or
- You may notice that you feel drained when you enter a shop.
Here’s some tips to help you shield your energy:
- Before you teach a class, visualise a cocoon lovingly wrapped around your body. Walking into a class with this energetic cocoon around you allows you to remain focused on what you’re there for, without being affected by negativity.
- Visualise a white light around your solar plexus region to protect your energy. Visualise the white light filling every corner of your class, highlighting the negative energies and showing them the door.
- Cleanse yourself after each class. This can be as simple as removing yourself from the room and washing your hands; as you do so, visualise any “dirty energy” going down the plug hole.
Now you’ve dissolved the negative energies, it’s time to draw the positive energies into your classes:
- Close your eyes and remember when you taught a class that “just flowed” – the clients smiled and laughed, your class structure was well received and you felt like you were in “the zone”.
- What stands out from this class? Was it the clients, the soft breeze coming through the open window, or the smell of the essential oils burning? Working this out will allow you to manifest these types of classes over and over.
- Visualise how you want to feel as you enter and leave your classes. You’re an instructor to inspire and motivate your clients to better health and fitness. How does this feel to you? Do you feel like you’re a leader who intuitively guides your clients? Maybe you feel like your personal experience can gently guide your classes to improved wellbeing?
You can choose what energies you allow into your personal space.
Allow the energy of laughter, connection and peace into your world as you mindfully protect your space against draining and murky energies.
OMG, here it goes again!
You try not to roll your eyes at your client as they justify why they haven’t been doing the exercises you gave them to relieve their pain.
She came to see you specifcally to improve her back pain, BUT is full of excuses:
- “I’m so busy at work that there’s no time to do the exercises…”,
- “I know I should do them, but I get caught up with helping my children with their homework…”, and
- “The pain was so bad that I had to take some medication and go to bed…”
You can see so clearly HOW she’s sabotaging her fitness, health and wellbeing!
Her excuses and stories aren’t serving her in moving towards a pain free life.
And it’s making you so frustrated that you want to scream at her:
- “For goodness sake, please help yourself and commit to these exercises,”
- “Can’t you see that your excuses are holding you back?” and
- “Aren’t you fed up with feeling so much pain?”
Your insights into your client’s health, fitness and wellbeing are what make you such an amazing Pilates and Yoga Instructor & Studio owner!
Do you need to stop the stories, excuses and procrastination when it comes to marketing your Pilates and Yoga Studio?
Sabotaging behaviors that you may need to cut out to move your Pilates and Yoga Studio forward include:
- Telling yourself that you’re too busy teaching classes to take time out and plan your marketing schedule,
- Listening to “that voice” inside that tells you that you’re not experienced or talented enough to actively promote yourself and your Studio,
- Believing the story in your mind that tells you that ‘promoting and marketing your Pilates and Yoga classes is hard work and expensive’, and
- Holding onto the story that you have to ‘teach day and night for years before you can make a healthy profit and live the lifestyle you really want”.
Your “prescription” to move forward?
STOP whenever the stories that deplete your energy come up and ask, “Is this story about my business serving me or sabotaging me?
One of the reasons why you’re a Pilates or Yoga Instructor is because you love the feeling of being energized.
You know that you function the best when you’re physically fit and healthy!
But when was the last time you thought about your other energy sources?
Energy must be managed in the same way as you manage your time and money.
Just like you have different bank accounts for different purposes, you have different sources of energy: physical, spiritual, emotional and mental.
Learning to manage all your energy accounts is a proven strategy to help you thrive in your business, personal and professional life.
One of your main “energy accounts” is your Self-Care account.
Here’s 2 strategies to help you create an abundance of energy:
1 Who do you “hang with”?
Who you’re surrounding yourself with on a daily basis will impact tremendously on your energy levels.
You know that some people can “lift you up” but others can just as quickly “bring you down”.
There may be some people you can’t avoid, but as you complete this energy audit, consider the following:
- Who inspires you for most of the day?
- Who do you feel connected to?
- Who makes you want to run in the other direction when you hear their name?
As Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.
2 Your intention
When you prescribe specific exercises to your clients, you do so with intention!
Your intention for your client’s program willhelp them achieve specific outcomes.
But what personal intentions are you setting yourself each day?
By getting into the habit of setting clear and specific intentions at the start of every day, your productivity and results will soar!
When you wake up, set 3 personal intentions that include:
- How you want to communicate with yourself and others e.g. “I am going to be loving, supportive and kind to myself and others”
- What feelings you would like to have during the day e.g. “I want to feel calm and secure”, and
- What positive thoughts you would like to hold e.g. “I am a successful Studio owner who is known in my community for…”
As you integrate these 2 strategies into your everyday life, notice what happens…
My mentoring clients report that:
- “Life has become easier!”
- “I can’t believe how much more I get done in less time”
It’s the words that send a chill down every Studio owner’s spine.
You will be sent into a tailspin for days, or even weeks when one of your staff says:
“I want to let you know that I will be leaving in 2-weeks to set up my own Studio, just down the road…”
As you try to fathom what to do next, you start to visualize your clients leaving your Studio and folllowing this Instructor.
You work out how many clients a week they see and then you really start to panic!
OMG, this one Instructor leaving could send your profits for the next few months down the drain…
So what can you do to stop this situation happening?
Realize that you have some control and that this starts when you recruit your Instructors!
Step 1: Use behavioural profiles in your recruitment process:
These profiles will help you see which Instructors are more likely to leave your Studio and set up their own business at some point in the future.
For example, if you’re interviewing a very ambitious Instructor, and you don’t have a career route that will satisfy this ambition, they will be more likely to leave.
On the other hand, if an Instructor is focused on financial security and stability, they are more likely to stay with you.
Step 2: Identify where the Instructor is in their life:
If an Instructor is saving to travel overseas, they will be motivated by a guaranteed income.
BUT, this Instructor may not be around in 3 or 6 months time!
Another Instructor may be re-entering the Instructor world after having their children.
They may value making their own money, with the least amount of stress and fuss.
This Instructor may be around for a longer period of time.
The more knowledge you can gather on the Instructors, the more likely you are to make the right recruitment decision for your Studio.
As Louise was walking home from teaching her classes, she heard a screech of tires and then someone started yelling.
Startled, she looked up and realised she had nearly been run over.
When Louise was telling me this a few days later, I could tell she was still shaken up.
As we sat chatting about it, I asked her what she had been thinking about.
What had been so important that she had nearly been run over?
Louise had just finished teaching 3 Yoga classes.
During the last class, she noticed that a student wasn’t able to keep up.
She had given them alternative poses, but even then they struggled.
She had been trying to work out how to create a better class for her student when she stepped into the traffic!
Louise had become so attached to her students and Studio that she had neglected herself.
Her deep commitment to her students and her Studio had started to impact negatively on her life:
- Her sleep patterns had been disrupted for a few months,
- Her anxiety levels were rising because she felt like she could never do enough, and
- Her personal relationships were strained because all she could talk about was her students and her Studio.
So how can you detach from you Studio and your students?
How can you avoid the “attachment syndrome” that Louise has been experiencing?
Firstly, it’s helpful to understand why detachment is a good thing.
Yoga advocates non-attachment (vairagya) to experiences, objects and people.
Being detached doesn’t mean that you can never feel attachment to a person or object though. Attachment is a natural part of being human.
However, being too attached to your Studio and students doesn’t allow you to progress as an Instructor or business owner.
Simple steps to practice detachment include:
- Having a set ritual at the end of each class that allows your mind and body to know that you’ve “done your work, it’s time to rest”. This can be as simple as washing your hands and face, changing your clothes or closing the Studio door.
- End each class with the following mindset, “I have delivered the best information in the most accessible and joyful way I can. I look forward to the next class and thank my students for being here.
How will this help you?
A detached mindset allows you to:
- Remain alert, calm, attentive and spontaneous,
- Stay in the present moment and “be you”, and
- Allows you to step into being who you really are as an Instructor and Studio owner.
As a committed Instructor and Studio owner, you love getting on your mat and moving your body!
You love the feeling of your body melting into the postures.
You feel at home with the alignment you effortlessly achieve as you flow from exercise to exercise.
And the clarity of mind you experience grounds and centres you.
Your personal practice is a “no-brainer” – taking action is almost part of who you are!
And you know that when you don’t get on your mat, that you will feel less balanced and more stressed.
You know for sure the reasons why your personal practice is so important and you’re really clear on what the outcome is if you miss it.
So why do you find it hard to take action with developing and expanding your Studio?
You know you need to attract and retain more Ideal clients. And you know that involves marketing effectively and consistently, but you don’t do it!
Perhaps you start off with good intentions… You set aside time during the weekend to “get serious about your Studio” and sit down at your computer.
You check out advertising options, but can’t see the value in what’s on offer.
Then you look at what your competitors are doing with their marketing. Not that you want to mimic them, but you’re searching for “the answer”!
But then you get sidetracked with your Facebook page, start checking emails and think about organizing class plans for the week ahead.
And, before you knew it you had to make dinner or bath the kids!
You know what you want and you have an idea of what you need to do, so how come you’re not doing it?
Your mindset is holding you back!
It’s like you’ve got a “war going on” inside your head that’s often outside of your awareness.
So how can you stop this internal battle from sabotaging you and your Studio?
These steps can help:
- Take some time to slow down long enough to reflect on your behavior.
- Get in touch with the conflicting commitments you notice in your subconscious.
- Look at what pay offs you’re getting for not moving forward E.g If the time you set aside to “get serious about marketing your Studio” conflicts with your friend’s birthday lunch and you attend the lunch. You tell your friends “how busy you are running your Studio”. They tell you that “you work too hard and you poor thing having to do so much”…This is your pay off!
Now you’ve worked out what’s going on in your subconscious…
- Work out the cost of not attracting your ideal clients and marketing your Studio consistently.
- What financial costs are you feeling because of this inaction?
- How does this affect you emotionally and spiritually?
- What impact does this have on your family and friends?
Now look at the benefits of taking action…
- What could your Studio look like if you did attract more clients?
- What would this do for you financially and emotionally?
mall steps are the key here! Small steps, day-by-day will lead you towards your outcome.
And as you start out on this “action process” remember to be kind to yourself.
Your mind, particularly your unconscious mind will stray off the path.
It will want you to stay in the same place, because it feels safe and secure.
Gently, step by step you redirect yourself, focusing on what you and your Studio’s purpose is…
“Please help me now! I’ve been awake all night, scared to move and unable to sleep…Can’t you just give me a quick stretch that will fix it?”
As I looked at my friend, I could see the pain she was in.
She has a history of neck pain, brought on by too many hours of sitting at her desk in her corporate job and the stress of bringing up a young family.
So I did what you would do!
I gave her 3 upper neck and shoulder stretches. And because I always over-deliver, I gave her everything I could!
She received detailed instructions with stick-figure drawings. She got detials about what she should feel, how long she should hold each stretch for and for how many times a day she should do it.
And then I gave her the details of a remedial massage therapist while giving her my wheat-bag so she could keep her neck warm.
A week or so later, I rang her, curious to see how she went with the massage therapist.
“Oh, well I did your stretches for a day or so and used the wheat bag once. The neck kind of got better so I didn’t call them! I know you think that I should go to Pilates or Yoga classes to address my postural issues, but I haven’t got the time. I feel better now anyway.”
I know that you’re thinking exactly what I did: WTF!
I felt like I had wasted my time and energy on my friend, trying to help her out.
But then I realized…she is chasing the “quick-fix”!
“Give me a 2-minute stretch or a magic pill that will fix it now.”
“Just make the pain go away so I can slip back into my bad postural habits and not take responsibility for my fitness, health and wellbeing!”
Quick fixes don’t work for a tight neck or “crook back” and they don’t work for marketing your Studio!
The signs of a “quick fix” marketing mindset include:
- Class numbers dropping? Maybe I will try out one of those group buying websites that my beauty therapist has been raving about?
- Google ads not creating the interest I thought they would? Maybe I should widen the net and throw more money at them!
- Clients not giving me the referrals I was hoping they would? What about giving them a 2-for-1 class and get them to bring a friend in for free!
These marketing “solutions” are quick fixes because they are used as a reaction to what’s happening in your Studio.
And just like my friend’s neck, unless the underlying cause is looked at clearly, you will be in the very same situation in a few weeks or months time.
So what’s the alternative? Shift your mindset from the quick-fix to a well thought out marketing strategy that addresses:
- Who do you really want to teach and why?
- Do you already teach some of them now and can you increase your referral strategies?
- What lifestyle do you really want to have from running your Studio? Are you happy teaching 3-4 nights a week and every weekend, or could you phase in a new business model; one that supports your family and lifestyle?
The next step…look back over the last 6 months and see how you’re going.
Get clear with what’s working and what’s not working. Ask yourself the following:
- What were my major accomplishments in the first half of 2011?
- What were my biggest disappointments in the first half of 2011?
- Did I limit myself in the last six months? If so, how did I limit myself, and how can I remove those limiting beliefs for the next half of 2011?
- What can I really learn from my answers to the above questions?
- How can I use this information to make the last half 2011 be how I want it to be?
Please let me know how you go!
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to watch the Lady Gaga “Monster Ball” HBO special.
And what an amazing concert it was…I know I’m nearly 42 years old and I love Lady Gaga!
The songs, the special effects and the dancing were all amazing.
But the way she connected with her audience made me realize what a fantastic role model she is for business owners!
So why is Lady Gaga such a great role model?
- She knows exactly who her audience is and does everything she can to connect with them.
- Her audience knows her back-story: that she didn’t fit in at high school, that she had a strong desire to sing, that she persisted.
- She lets her fans know that at times she feels like a “loser”; that there are days she doesn’t believe in herself.
So how can you go Gaga over your business?
- Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who can support and guide you.
- Know exactly where you want to go.
- Be proud of who you are and what you stand for, “because you were Born this Way!”
- Know who your Ideal Clients (audience) are intimately: what are their pains and how can you help them?
- Be on the cutting edge of your industry and be prepared to stand out from the crowd as you add surprise and excitement to marketing your Studio.
And the marketing and personal lessons you can learn from Lady Gaga?
- You can be whoever you want to be.
- You can create a successful and thriving Studio being who you are.
- There is a tribe of people who are searching for your leadership; to be empowered and to have someone believe in them.
- There’s nothing worng with loving who you are and what you stand for.
- “Don’t hide yourself in regret…”
Let me know how Lady Gaga has impacted you!
“But I thought they knew,” my girlfriend sobbed into the phone.
“They’ve been coming her every fortnight for 18 months…they know I’m great at what I do…why didn’t they ask me if I was interested?”
“And now the person they’ve hired is getting regular weekly work and making more money in a day than I make in a week!”
As I sat there listening and consoling her, the full story unraveled…
One of her regular clients had just had a massage. They told her their company had hired a massage therapist to come into their office for a day a week to perform seated massages.
To make matters worse for my girlfriend?
The person they had hired had only been massaging for 6 months, and they would be making over $150 an hour…over a 6-hour day…
My friend is an awesome Massage therapist who has been working from home for the last 3 years.
Most of her business is word of mouth, however there are days when she’s very quiet.
Despite my offers to help her market her business, her attitude to marketing has always been that she doesn’t need to.
“The clients I need will come when they’re ready. I get too busy to get my head around it all…”
She realizes that someone with less experience and training is going to be earning more in 1 day’s work (at her client’s workplace!) than she earns in a busy week.
Is it any wonder that she was so upset?
After I consoled her I gently asked if she had ever mentioned to any of her clients that she does this sort of work?
The only thing she had was a sentence on her website that said, “Other services available…”
The lesson here?
She hadn’t communicated clearly with her prospective and current clients what she offered.
My friend could have earned an extra $900 a week, effortlessly as her client would have put a good word in for her!
My reason for telling you this? I don’t want you to make the same mistake that my girlfriend made!
So take a helicopter view of your Pilates and/or Yoga business for a moment.
- Do your clients know that you can offer mat-classes in-house?
- Do your clients know that you are available for conference break-out sessions?
- Do your clients know that you want to start public speaking on stress release techniques?
Make sure your clients know EVERYTHING that you can offer them.
And don’t assume that placing a “other services as requested…” on your website or at the bottom of your notice board will alert them.
You must tell your clients:
- Exactly what you do,
- Where you can do it, and
The most important thing?
What results and transformations they will get from hiring you!
Positive affirmations, feel the fear and do it now, get your act together and do it…
You know all about “woo-woo”.
Your bookshelves are groaning under the weight of your self development books.
You’ve lost count of how many workshops, conferences and audio recordings you’ve heard on positive mindset, stepping into your brilliance and claiming your true power.
Deep down you know that “it” works!
You’ve experienced the power of positive thinking and have easily manifested what you wanted in the past.
But now you’re in the midst of a “funk”!
That gray, gloomy patch where nothing feels like it will ever work out for you…
The Pilates class numbers have dramatically dropped off, and you’re wondering why…
The well-liked Yoga Instructor has just resigned to travel overseas for 2 years…
Your Pilates and/or Yoga Studio rent is due tomorrow but your business bank account only has $250 in it!
Whatever the reason for this “funk”, in the midst of it, you’ve started to doubt the power of “woo-woo”.
You consciously and unconsciously question if it “works”.
You feel like you’ve lost connection with where you’re going and why.
In fact, you may feel so low and disheartened that the thought of anything “woo-woo” makes your stomach turn!
But hold on…
Before you give up on your deepest desires and dreams, take a step back.
Take your mind back to a time when you had a really bad cold or flu.
In the midst of it, the thought crosses your mind that you’re “never going to get better”.
But then you get “well meaning advice” from friends and family to:
- Take it easy,
- Drink plenty of fluids,
- Take some time off work, and
- Nurture yourself.
But do you listen to this? No way!
You push on don’t you!
You’ve got a Pilates and/or Yoga studio to run…
Your clients are depending on you to teach them and you aren’t going to let them down!
In fact, during this time of feeling very ill, you probably push yourself further and harder than you’ve ever done before.
You grasp, push and exert yourself so by the end of the day you fall into your bed, feeling weak, wrung out and wretched.
So back to the way you’re running your Pilates & Yoga business.
When your class numbers drop off, when your Instructor leaves, when you feel like “it’s not working”.
Stop. That’s right, stop and take a break.
Change your class schedule so you can take a 4-day weekend.
Escape to the country for a mini-break.
Have a holiday at home and watch your favorite DVD series.
Stop and rest…
Creating a successful and thriving Pilates and/or Yoga business can be simple and effortless.
You know how to connect with your physical, emotional and spiritual energy. And you know that “woo-woo” not only exists, but works.
You also know the impact that your classes have on your clients.
So next time when you’re in the middle of a “funk”, instead of pushing on, grasping and trying to force your business to grow.
Step back and nurture yourself.
Re-connect with why you’re doing what you’re doing.
And then “woo-woo” will magically “start working”…