Posts Tagged ‘Yoga 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?
It can sometimes feel like feast or famine.
One moment all your classes are booked out for weeks in advance, and then your Studio feels like a ghost town!
Having class numbers dip up and down so dramatically is stressful:
- You get financially stretched,
- Emotionally wrung out, and
- Your self-worth gets battered.
Here’s 3 steps you can take to stop this roller-coaster ride...
Step 1: Always be consistent with your Marketing
When you get busy teaching and running your Studio, you tend to brush off your regular marketing activities.
BUT this is the time you must keep going!
Consistency with your marketing activities is as important as consistency with exercise and healthy eating!
Your new approach?
Set aside 20-30 minutes a day for marketing your Studio.
Step 2: Get out into your Community
Being busy in your Studio is awesome!
You get to hang out with your clients, your Instructors are happy and the entire Studio feels alive.
This is the time to get out of the Studio and invest time building relationships and networking with other small businesses.
When you’ve got the “happy vibes” of being busy and having full classes, it’s the perfect time to let others know what you do!
Step 3: Stay Connected
Keeping in regular contact with your current and lapsed clients via a weekly or fortnightly eNewsletter lets them know:
- The latest news from your Studio, including new classes and Instructors,
- What achievements your clients have accomplished, and
- What new offers and packages your Studio has
No more feast or famine in your Studio, but consistent class sizes for a healthy and thriving business!
“OMG, I can’t believe that you did that!”
This was the reaction of a colleague a few years ago when I told her that I had “sacked a client”.
She was gob-smacked that I could even consider getting rid of a client!
The client I had “sacked” was:
- Kept wearing inappropriate clothing to class, and
- Had upset several loyal and long-term clients who were in her class with her comments.
As a Pilates and Yoga Studio owner and instructor, you come across these types of “difficult clients” all the time.
These difficult clients are:
- Needy – they need your time and energy ALL the time,
- Dependent – on your constant attention,
- Late to class – or don’t even show up,
- Behind on their class payments and/or “forget” their credit card, and
- Create drama ALL the time.
So why is it so hard to “get rid of difficult clients”?
From my own experience and from helping my Mentoring Clients here are 5 reasons why you resist “sacking” your difficult clients:
- You’re scared that if you get rid of one client, that they will tell EVERYONE that you are the worst Studio / worst Instructor / worst business owner…
- You believe that creating a successful Studio requires you to teach EVERYONE who walks through your door,
- You haven’t clearly worked out WHO you are best suited to teach and HOW you can help them, so you keep teaching EVERYONE,
- You are struggling to fill your classes anyway, so you may as well “put up with” a few “difficult clients” than teach no-one, and
- You’ve seen everyone else in your industry putting up with “difficult clients” and believe that this is part of your journey as well…
If you’re sick and tired of teaching “difficult clients” here’s 3 steps to take now:
- Work out your Ideal client profile: who you want to teach and why,
- Start marketing your Studio to this Ideal client profile, and
- Go through your current client list and set a “departure date” for your difficult clients.
And, to make the “sacking process” clean, clear and easy, take the focus OFF you, and place it on them:
“Jane/John, you’ve been coming to class for a while now. Your needs would be better met if you continued your classes elsewhere because we’re not giving you what you’re looking for.
We’ve helped you as much as we can, but need to stop teaching you…here’s a refund of your classes. We wish you continued health and happiness.”
Mindset tips when doing this:
- Don’t let them get to you and refuse to let them get personal,
- GIve them the facts,
- Don’t apologize for or justify your actions, and
- Refer them to another Studio (if appropriate).
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 you leave your Studio for the day, the feelings of fatigue start to overwhelm you.
Your day’s been okay; you taught a few classes, interacted with your staff and paid the bills.
But let’s face it, there are some days when you couldn’t be less interested in being in your Studio!
It’s not like you want to hand your keys back to the landlord, but you’re just feeling “over it”.
Your passion has dipped and you feel like you need a “kick-start”!
So what can you do when you feel like this?
You know that your energy is going to be picked up on by your staff and clients, so you can’t afford to let these feelings “infect” your Studio.
These 4 steps can help you invigorate your passion and help your Studio thrive!
1. Recognize the people around you:
When you’re feeling fatigued with running your Studio, you need to spend some time getting grounded.
It’s time to reconnect with who’s important to you, because sometimes your clients, staff, friends and family get taken for granted.
So take some time to think of how you can show them that you truly value who they are.
How can you make them feel special?
2. Get your team fired up:
As a Studio owner, it’s crucial that you’re excited about your business.
But your staff also need to be just as excited!
When was the last time you sat down with them and let them know where you want your business to be in the next 12 months?
How can your staff get involved with your dream for the Studio and feel like they’re contributing?
If you don’t have a team yet? Visualize what it will be like when you do have a team!
3. Get out of your Studio!
When was the last time you got out of your Studio and met other local business owners?
If you’re like most Studio owners, it may be “never”!
Networking face-to-face in your local community is a perfect way for you to keep energized and focused.
There are many business networks to choose from, with some being free to attend.
And the bonus for getting out of your track-pants and into smart casual clothes?
You get to form new business relationships, talk about your Studio and let others know how you can help them.
4. Look to the future
When you’re caught up with the day-to-day details of running a Studio, it’s very easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Learn to look past the present obstacles and see what the future holds.
Check in with yourself if your business strategy is firmly centered around your personal values and mission statement.
Visualize the future you’d like to see for your Studio, and map out the action plan you need to get there.
It might not happen exactly how you visualize it.
But without a plan for where you’re going, it’s hard to know when to celebrate your achievements!
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!
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”…
Do you dread “Marketing”?
You know you “should do it” and yet something deep inside you freezes?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
The truth is that many Pilates and Yoga Business owners get stalled when they think about marketing their studio.
One reason you feel so conflicted with marketing is because deep down you associate marketing with a needy and grasping energy.
The energy of needing more clients, more money, and more attention.
So how can you change this?
From now on, I want you to stop thinking of MARKETING!
That’s right! Totally forget about marketing…
Your challenge: Replace marketing with CONNECTING!
A bridge connects people or vehicles to cross an obstacle such as Sydney Harbor. The bridge allows people a “short-cut” or solution so they can get on with their life!
And your Pilates and/or Yoga classes connect people with solutions that have the power to transform their lives.
Can you see the mindset shift here?
It’s a totally different energy operating now.
It’s an energy of:
- Giving people the solutions they’ve been searching for, and
- An energy of showing up and sharing your instructing gifts with your ideal clients.
To help you with this new mindset, here are 3 questions to clarify your thoughts and claim your own power:
- What are the 3 main reasons people come to your Pilates and/or Yoga studio?
- What are the 3 biggest marketing mindset roadblocks that are standing in the way of your success?
- If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
As Tony Robbins says, “Questions are the Answer!”
So take a few moments and discover how you can start connecting, not marketing!
Let me know how you go below…