How To Stop The Marketing Overwhelm

 

Hey there, 

I want to talk to you about one of the sneaky ways we can get "stuck" in our businesses.

 

If you are an active marketeer of your business, as in you send regular emails to your client list, are active on Facebook, run promotions, set client challenges, have your own hashtags etc etc then you will know that this marketing thing can be a time-consuming business.

 

It’s no joke!

 

Did you know that the average internet user has 5.54 social media accounts?

 

How crazy is that?

 

Trying to reach across an ever expanding number of platforms can be completely exhausting. 

 

On top of that, perhaps you are also sending direct mail flyers and putting up posters around town.

 

Ever wonder how on earth are you supposed to stay on top of that and do your real job of serving your clients?

 

Feeling overwhelmed anyone? Yep - me too.

 

How do you keep up with  ALL.THE.THINGS?

 

It’s challenging enough for a marketing pro who sits behind a desk all day let along one who is teaching, instructing and servicing clients in a studio.

 

Let's take control.

 

Choosing where you should “be” is the first step to getting back on track.

 

So, which do you choose? Where should you “be” online?

 

The answer lies at the intersection of:

  1. Where like to be
  2. Where your clients like to be

 

If you aren't a pinterest person. Drop it. Not a SnapChat superstar? Not a big deal.

 

That said, I definitly encourage email simply because again and again it shows to have the biggest return on investment. 

 

Facebook reaches most social media users and you can do some pretty interesting things with advertising there, and Instagram is growing in popularity especially in the wellness community. Content is shifting to be live and more personal.

 

One thing that I know for sure - it's all pointless if your clients aren't there!

 

What does that mean for you? YOU choose where and what to post. Don’t follow a crowd that doesn’t reflect who you are and what you do. Your social media strategy has to align with your brand and your business goals.

 

So, if you are trying to post to every possible social media platform out there in the hopes of reaching more clients then I would seriously encourage you to revisit who your clients are, where they are and what they want. 

 

AND, who you are, what you do and what YOU want.

 

Who knows... you might not need to make all that effort after all.

 

 

Turning New Clients into Loyal Clients

Hey there, 

 

I really hope the new year has bought some new faces into your business. After all, it’s that time of year - there is a ton of opportunity just waiting to be embraced fully with open arms.

 

And I hope that’s exactly what you have done! 

 

Getting people through the door, however, is just one part of the puzzle. 

 

After all, without a devoted loyal client base who champion your studio, running a business can get very tiring very quickly. 

 

Turning new clients into loyal clients is crucial and doing so requires a bit of a plan and a ton of intention.

 

Once you’ve attracted the right people into your business it’s up to you to keep them coming back for more.

 

Good client service is expected in today’s world

 

And delivering it is pretty simple - but it does take effort to do it right.

 

Focus on making your clients feel they are there for more than a workout and you will be on the right track. 

 

Train your front desk staff and all your instructors to get familiar with names, pay attention to details and be personable. The more welcome, inclusive and open you can be to all clients (old and new) the more likely they are to come back. 

 

Make absolutely zero assumptions about why your client is in your studio. Don’t assume it’s because they want to “get more flexible”, “do more cardio” or “get stronger”… there is often more to it and it will pay you back in buckets if you can figure this one out! No matter what you think a client wants, you won’t know for sure until you open up that conversation, and don’t hesitate to do just that. Think about who in your business is the right person to have that conversation and when is most appropriate. If you offer only 1:1 sessions then it might be easier to do this during one of the early sessions or consultations, as a class based business, you might have better luck if an instructor follows up after class in person or over the phone.

 

Getting to know your clients really well is a fantastic investment of your time and energy.

 

Nurture your relationship with your clients as you would any other relationship

 

If a client has been missing from the studio in a while, send a quick text or pick up the phone to check in and invite them back. 

 

This is the time of year to max out your client service - add a couple of extra hours of coverage to your front desk and focus on making your clients feel comfortable and part of your studio space. Make it as easy as possible for your client to be there and to come back, time and time again. 

 

 

What works best for each studio can be quite different - I can help you figure out what is the right approach to growing your business. Why not take a 1:1 session and we can work on this together? Hit reply and let's find a time to talk.

 

~ Seran

 

 

Let's Talk Numbers

Knowing your accounting numbers like revenue, profit and expense numbers are important… and I’m guessing that you look at those pretty often.

Or, maybe you use your bank balance as a guide - and that's a good number to know also.

But, there is another set of numbers that give A TON more insight into how your everyday activities are impacting your bottom line. 

When I start to work with a new studio owner, one of the first questions I ask them is whether they track their key numbers (otherwise known as KPI’s).

Because when you use real data to determine the health of your business, you stop relying on a “feeling” and you can become more confident that you are making the right decisions in your business.

These metrics also enable you to evaluate changes you’ve made, or determine whether your new promotion is a success.

If you want to know how your business is REALLY doing – there are numbers that will help you understand whats going on under the hood

Your key performance indicators or business metrics are a set of reports or numbers that you track to measure and analyze the health and performance of your business.

Usually, these are outside of traditional accounting numbers. This set of numbers help to give a more accurate picture of how your business is doing – what is working and what isn’t.

As a business owner - if you are not tracking these numbers then there could be a BIG opportunity to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be

Here are a few key numbers you could use to help determine the health of your business:

  • Attendance - total paid visits, total unique clients, average visits per week

  • Sales by service

  • New client visits

  • Retention

  • Marketing metrics - referrals

These numbers gives you the data you need to learn, discover and understand. And really make sure you are focusing on what makes a difference.

Tracking what is important in YOUR business and what you are focused on achieving is key. So if you are a new business, then getting new clients is your top priority, and that is exactly what you should be tracking.

As a mature business, you may want to focus more on attendance or improving retention.

With consistent tracking of key metrics you get insight for what is getting better and what is not.

WHAT YOU MEASURE YOU WILL IMPROVE

Interestingly it’s not necessarily JUST about the numbers that your reports show you! It's also about awareness.

The act of bringing your goals into your current consciousness alone, will help you become make progress.

Counting, measuring and tracking is the system that enables success. It creates a commitment to show up and become aware of your goals each week or month.

Seeing the trends is super interesting too. It gives you the ability to manage seasonality and plan for busy (and not so busy) times.

 

Here are my Top Tips:

- Choose 3-5 metrics that you feel comfortable with and can easily measure monthly/weekly

- Review the data you have collected periodically (e.g. quarterly) and analyze what is working and what isn’t

- It can be really helpful to put the data into a visual format (vs looking at a page of numbers). Use bar charts and pie charts to do this.

- Change or adapt your promotions, marketing, schedules etc according to what you discover... then track that too!

- Look for the patterns and be aware of seasonality, local or national trends and most importantly how your numbers are associated with what you are doing within your business

Good Luck!

p.s. If you need some help looking at your numbers and understanding what they are telling you, why not book a session to go through them together. I LOVE numbers and helping you to figure out what you can do to grow them :)

 

Make Success Your Reality

Spring Three - studio business consulting

When you see other businesses succeed it can be easy to assume that it came easily. But when you look under the hood of those businesses what you find might surprise you.

 

It’s more of a struggle than some owners let on.

 

It's likely that they too have struggled through hiring and firing, or agonized over price increases, and there's almost certainly been a time when they’ve stressed out because of scheduling and rescheduling clients.

 

The one thing that helps them move easily through those bumps in the road?

 

A clear strategy.

 

For most businesses that struggle to grow, it comes down to one problem - their business isn’t designed to grow.

 

For those who succeed, they have designed their success. They have taken the time to work ON their business, not just IN their business. They think critically about where the issues lie and how those challenges can be solved. They define their goals AND the plan to get there.

 

As you are dreaming up big dreams for the upcoming year, don’t stop at the vision, or the goals.

 

Think about action too. 

 

For any movement to gain momentum, it must start with a small action - Adam Braun

 

There is no better time to get clear on your goals for the upcoming year.

 

Your Path To Success is a FREE resource that takes you step-by-step through the process of crafting a plan filled with do-able actions that will take you towards your vision. You can get access to this resource HERE

 

If you want some help to figure out where you can take your business and what you need to do to get there - let’s talk. Set up an intro call and we can take it from there!

Preparing For January

The end of the year is just around the corner.  

And soon will come the beginning of another chapter.

2018

With the turn of the page comes new opportunity.

Along with those fresh and inspired new years resolutions to do and be better.

For your business, that means an uptick in new clients.

An uptick of almost a third.

Yes - you get on average 33% more new clients in Jan than any other month.

Whoop Whoop!!

So January is a great month (no surprises there).

But how do you make February fantastic and March a.Mazing?

Retention.

By anticipating these seasonal trends you can be well positioned to make the most of the opportunity that comes with it. Getting your sales system in place to keep those new clients is one of the most important things you can do now to prepare for that January uptick and make sure that you business benefits for the rest of the year as a result.

Your sales process looks like this:

- Having a great intro offer

- Having a great welcome procedure

- Having a great follow up process

- Following up again

- Introducing an upsell offer

- Following Up

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to follow up with new clients (in a kind and considerate way).

I’d love to help you structure your sales process so that you are best positioned to turn this opportunity into reality.

Get in touch and book a POWER SESSION for the new year and start 2018 with a bang!

Mention JANUARY SALES PROCESS and you’ll also receive a Sales Guide book with email templates and plans to help. Consider it my gift to you :)

 

One Simple Way To Boost Sales In December

If you are wondering how you can keep attendance looking good despite the late cancels and schedule changes associated with the holiday season then you want to read this... 

Because, you can finish 2016 strong.

We know the holidays can be a slow and unpredictable time. But with the right positioning, December could be one of your best months.

Your clients are spending more money than ever during the holiday season, it’s a great time to highlight your bigger packages and best deals.

And, I want to share with you the one thing that might just make the difference to your bottom line.

That one thing is - drum roll please - gift cards!

Gift card purchases spike around Valentines day, Mother’s Day and Christmas Day.

And of those three, Christmas is when the majority of gift cards are sold.

Nearly 50,000 gift cards have been sold during the Christmas period over the past 7 years via MindBodyOnline.

And guess what else?!

Those sales mostly happen within the last few days (and hours) before Christmas Day.

What does this mean for you?

  1. Sell gift cards in your studio and online. They can be as simple as an account credit or package options.
  2. Be very (very) proactive about marketing that you are selling gift cards via Social Media, email blasts and signage inside your studio - especially if this is a new thing for you. Post pictures & suggest who might love to buy or receive them (teachers, sisters, your BFF!)
  3. Encourage your clients to tell their significant others that you are selling gift cards… could be the perfect gift for someone special *hint hint!*

 

This is a very simple and easy way to make sure your not leaving any money behind in 2017… Now’s the time to set this up.

Good luck!

 

 

How To Keep Clients Interested

The holiday season is fast approaching and the rest of the year can seem like one party after another! As a small business in the health and fitness world, this might feel like a tough time of year as you navigate the balance of retaining clients each week despite the pull of parties, functions and events. But there is a silver lining - the holiday season can be a fantastic time to engage with your community and build more meaningful relationships.

Large companies invest heavily in marketing this time of year as the holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year for sales. Smaller businesses can benefit too with a bit of planning.  With shoppers of all kinds increasingly turning to social media to help them with ideas for what to buy, you are well-positioned to offer guidance that will help your clients stay loyal AND healthy in the next few months.

Party Planning

If you are hosting a party or function for your staff or clients to promote your business or show appreciation then now’s the time to get organized! Spreading the word early (and loudly) will ensure a good turnout.

Develop Special Promotions

If you use this time of year to offer a one-time promotion - in person or online - then decide early and prepare your marketing campaigns and graphics. Your key dates are Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Stay in touch

Email marketing during the holidays is a great way to target your customers and potential customers with special events, show some client appreciation and prepare them for a fantastic start to the new year. 

Make It Fun!

Create a holiday gift guide of all your favorite things. Share this via your blog and on social media or take it up a level and create a Pinterest board with a holiday theme and ideas. 

Turn Your Service Into A Gift

Offering special packages or gift cards is a clever way to boost your sales all the way to the end of the year. Perhaps even partner with another local businesses that offers complementary products and services or hosting a joint party to cross promote your products and services.

Adapt

We know how hard it is to squeeze in a workout when you are struggling after a heavy night or when social events start to eat into regular workout slots. The ultimate goal at this time of year to to ensure your clients stay a consistent part of your business through the end of the year and into the next, so be flexible with schedule changes where possible, encourage good habits, and be sure to keep in touch even if they can’t make it to their sessions.

 

Planning for your holiday marketing campaign starts now.

 

Keep your marketing content relevant to your clients and your brand, and overall, have fun with it!

Industry Insight: PMA Conference 2017

I recently returned from the PMA Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, CA. If you didn’t catch the short video I posted on Facebook and Instagram, you can click play below and check out the highlights!

 

It was a busy (and very fun) few days catching up with pilates pro’s who have been attending the conference for years, and others who were joining us for the first time. There were interesting and insightful workshops on so many pilates related topics that I left inspired by, and grateful for, this amazingly talented community.

 

On the flight home, I finally was able to catch my breath and reflect on what made these few days so incredible. I came to the following collection of thoughts:

 

You Make A Difference

Whether you are working with clients, teaching other teachers or just moving because you want to, you ARE making the world a better place. When you make one person feel good, you become a link in the chain of kindness that connects us all.

Blake Beltram from MindBodyOnline reminded us all of this in his keynote speech when he said “ you’re strengthening the core of your clients’ soul and stretching more than their muscles - you’re stretching their capabilities”. 

In your marketing, if you aren't talking about this, you should be. Your impact doesn't just take place during that 60 minute session - there is SO much more to it than that. (Check out this article: Your Brand Is Your Super Power, or this one: It's Pretty Awesome (that thing you do))

 

You Are A Part Of A Very Special Community

When you are working alone or in a small studio, it is easy to feel isolated. When you take the opportunity to participate and attend conferences for your industry, you experience firsthand the breadth and depth of who we collectively are. Making new connections is every bit as important as what we learn at these events. Perhaps even, by making new connections we are able to learn more! Together, we are this incredible community of movement innovators with real purpose. When we get together in a room - sparks fly!

 

You Are Going Places

Every year I am blown away by the talent and knowledge within our industry. From the new research studies that were presented to the lively discussions during break-out sessions. The workshops I was able to attend this year highlighted just how intelligent and smart our community is and how we continue to look for more ways to learn and grow. Cheers to that!

 

also… You Know How To Party Like A Rockstar!!!

 

Above all, my favorite part of the conference was the coffee and connect series where we chatted over coffee about all things pilates and business related, from hiring new teachers, building new websites, getting new clients and what the Pilates In America study really told us.

I’m already looking forward to more of the same next year!

 

 

How science can help you keep your clients

As instructors we love a good pilates session (yes, some parts more than others!), it’s one of the reasons we choose to do this as a career. but, the same does not ring true for everyone. Not all clients will love every single minute of their session or class with you, they might not share that exact same passion you have for the workout. In fact, don’t you find that the exercises clients need the most, are the ones they like the least?!

 

But that doesn’t mean that we should avoid giving clients those wonderful exercise…  so how do we ensure clients keep coming back even though they feel occasional discomfort or frustration?

 

I want to introduce the findings from a scientific study called The peak-end rule.

 

According to this psychological phenomenon, people don’t remember the entirety of their experience, instead they judge experiences based on how they felt at the most intense point (the peak) and at the end of their experience. A positive peak point and  a positive ending memory can counteract any unpleasantness or discomfort felt during their experience.

 

The peak-end rule was discovered by Nobel Prize winner Danial Kahneman (psychologist). In his study, Participants were subjected to two different versions of the same unpleasant experience. In The first trial,  subjects submerged one of their hands in cool  water (14°C) for 60 seconds. In The second trial subjects submerged their other hand in water of the same temperature and again for 60 seconds, but then they kept their hand submerged for an extra 30 seconds, during which the temperature was raised by a single degree to 15°C. At the end of both trials, participants were asked which they would prefer to repeat.

 

They found that subjects were more willing to repeat the second trial, even though it included a longer exposure to uncomfortable temperatures. So the research team concluded that "subjects chose the long trial simply because they liked the memory of it better than the alternative (or disliked it less).”*

 

As pilates teachers, part of our job is to put our clients in sometimes uncomfortable or challenging positions, but we also need for our clients to keep coming back if our business is to be successful. The outcome of this study can help us better understand how we can help our clients AND help our business thrive. 

 

How? This study shows that negative feelings can be countered by one single success and a positive ending.

 

Fortunately we can easily apply this in our daily work, here’s how:

 

1. Design sessions that give your client a single strong “peak” memory

Having a continuous average experience - even if it is pleasant - is just not distinguishable. But having a single "peak" moment during a class or session, one big breakthrough, is far more satisfying and memorable. I even find I do this in my own workouts, for me the Teaser is the high point! For clients if you are able to emphasize that moment with a strong assertion of their achievement then they are even more likely to walk away with a skip in their step.

 

2. End on a high note.

Offer clients a “treat” at the end of a session, a nice stretch, a moment of calm and quiet or their favorite exercise. Personally, I was taught to do this as part of my training. I can still hear that voice telling me “give them something nice at the end to keep them coming back”! You can also ensure a session ends on a positive note by reinforcing the progress they have made, highlighting their achievements and using uplifting and affirmative language as you book them into their next session and wave them goodbye...

 

I hope this science backed business tip helps you better your business this week

Learn From A Fellow Studio Owner: Simona Cipriani

This is a very special day because I'm super excited to share with you this amazingly insightful interview with the wonderful Simona Cipriani. Enjoy!

Simona Cipriani

Simona Cipriani is the owner of the Art of Control and the Educational Director of The Art and Science of Contrology Pilates Training Program. She is a Second Generation Pilates Instructor who studied extensively with Romana Kryzanowska, becoming a certified instructor of the Authentic Pilates Method in 1993. Her studio The Art Of Control, is in Stamford, CT.

 

Describe your business

I started my business in 1997 in Westchester County, New York. So, we are 20 years old this year - it's a big birthday! We spent 10 years at that studio and then we moved to Purchase College. Today, my studio is in Stamford Connecticut. We are part of a beautiful new facility that includes a fitness training, Acupuncturists, Yoga teachers and Massage Therapists.

Here, I have a team of really experienced teachers, and a number of apprentices who are going through my teacher training program. I teach around 15 to 20 hours a week and I have my teacher training program on top of that which involves teaching seminars and mentoring apprentices. I am frequently traveling to teach my program, infact I leave for South Korea tomorrow!

 

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt as a business owner?

One person can't do it all! Especially, if you are dedicated to teaching and you really enjoy teaching like I do.  I have found that I need get help to accomplish certain tasks in my business that I don't enjoy doing or don't have the time to do.

 

Biggest challenge to date?

My biggest challenge has been finding strong, loyal teachers to work in my studio and to grow with my business. I trust my teachers with my clients and finding the right people is not easy. Professional and loyal teachers are hugely valuable in this industry and I have learnt how to trust the right people and avoid people who are negative or not the right fit for my studio.

 

What do you love most about what you do?

I love to teach. I love to see my clients progress and help them become more healthy and more active. Seeing the change in their body, but also their mind, is incredible. 

Being overwhelmed can take away from this joy, so whenever I find that happening, I always come back to doing what I love, which is teaching clients and teaching teachers.

 

What skills or actions are most important to running your business successfully?

  1. You need to have passion for the work and the method 
  2. You need to care about the clients making progress 
  3. You need to be courageous! Invest in yourself and your business and be flexible to the environment around you in order to be successful. This takes guts - it’s not always easy.

 

What is in your future?

Haha - it depends on the day! I love to teach and I love to travel so I see traveling to teach in my future, just as I am doing right now. I will continue to do what it takes to make my studio successful, and I want to continue to invest in my training program and continue build it so that it is accessible to more people! 


Learn more about Simona HERE