Have you heard about Marie Forleo’s B-School?
It is the best online training course available, hands down, and I am a proud graduate from her 2010 course. Since enrollment is only open once a year – and closes at noon on March 4th – I wanted to share with you my honest review and hopefully answer your questions.
(You can read this entire post or watch the video I made below just for you – or both!)
In the video, I am going to share with you what B-School is, why I love it, how it is different from Profit With Pilates and who B-School is best suited for. I’ll also share with you 3 great bonuses you’ll receive if you sign up by using my affiliate link.
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What is B-School exactly?
Marie Forleo’s B-School is an online business school originally created by the fiesty entrepreneur Marie Forleo and social media maven Laura Roeder (but now just Marie runs the show).
It’s an 8-week online program to teach women (and smart men!) how to create, structure, and grow their business, primarily an online business. You don’t have to “show up” at a particular time for class as all the material can be accessed at your convenience (but you do have to show up to get results!).
B-School covers what Marie has defined as the 6 Pillars of online business success.
- Planning Your Profitable Online Business
- Websites That Sell and Don’t Suck
- Your Killer Communication Plan
- List Building Mania
- Creating Products and Services That Sell Themselves
- Marketing Strategies That Pay You for Life
Marie has methodically mapped out exactly what you need to do to create a profitable, purpose-centered, online business. Marie teaches timeless and authentic business and marketing techniques that will help you grow your business in a way that feels good and true to you.
If you’re interested in more program specifics, you can find more details about the program right here.
To hear my thoughts on B-School and how to get free bonus time with me, keep reading.
My honest review
B-School was one of the best business decision I have ever made. Since I joined in 2010, I have generated more income while working less and experiencing greater freedom in my life (no longer trading time for $). I am also much happier being able to do what I love and be compensated for it. Marie’s B-School will teach you everything you need to know to create and market an online business so you can either add an additional revenue stream or even replace your current revenue.
The program content is university level and top notch! Every concept is clearly and thoroughly explained with “fun sheets” (aka: homework) to help you get the most out of the content.
You’ll have lifetime access to the program, and I guarantee you’ll go back through the materials again and again like I do! Marie also hosts live office hour calls, where she answers every single question that anyone has. This year she’s added even more live calls to reach everyone regardless of their time zone. This is the best way to get one-on-one laser coaching from Marie throughout the program.
The B-School Community
When I joined B-School, I also joined the B-School online community. This will become an invaluable resource and your “go to” group for any question or resource needed.
I have never ever been a part of a group of entrepreneurs who are all ambitious yet simultaneously loving and non-competitive. This community will become your personal mastermind group and safe space to ask any question and get dozens of replies.
Who B-School is for
B-School is perfect for anyone who knows what they want to do for their business but hasn’t had much success or are ready to take their business success to the next level.
B-School is also ideal for someone looking to grow an online business although certainly any traditional “brick-n-mortar” business (ie: a pilates studio!) can benefit from Marie’s teachings.
Who B-School is not for
Not for you if you are negative, insecure or just plain floundering and “wasting time”. It is also not for you if you are perfectly content with your current results and quality of life. Most “B-Schoolers” are driven by a desire to have more, live more and be more!
If you’re afraid or unsure, or just don’t know what you are doing professionally, wait until you’re clear and more confident. B-School will likely come around again in 2014.
How to best take advantage of B-School
I believe that one of the biggest reasons B-School was so influential for me was that I set aside time each week to learn the material and implement the concepts Marie taught. Each week I assigned time to go through the program material (it is all recorded). I made learning a priority, put the time in my calendar, and made it non-negotiable. If I missed time or a conflict came up, I always made a point of “catching up” – it was that important to me.
If you don’t have that many hours each week to learn and implement, you can certainly take action more slowly over time, but the whole point is to keep moving and putting one foot in front of another.
What about if I want to grow my business locally, not online?
Whether your business is locally-focused, like a pilates studio, or online-focused, you can benefit from B-School. These days even local businesses need an online presence and can benefit from learning more about marketing, connecting with their prospects and making more sales. The concepts taught in this program are applicable either way, and brick-and-mortar businesses are definitely a part of the B-School program and community.
B-School will teach any business how to create a strong online presences and promote yourself over the internet — something that’s absolutely essential for all businesses today.
Why am I promoting someone else’s program?
If you’ve followed me for a while, you may have noticed that I don’t have a regular practice of promoting someone else’s program on my blog, facebook page or via my emails. So why this program?
I’m promoting Marie Forleo’s B-School for several reasons. First, this program had such a huge impact on my online business that it would be like I was keeping a success secret all to myself if I didn’t share it with you.
Second, if I were to teach you everything in Marie’s program through private coaching, it would take us months or more to cover it all – and that would run you over $10,000. Marie’s program is more cost effective than working with me privately, and it comes with different perks. (But if you want to work with me one-on-one, I’d love that, too!)
Third, I am a proud affiliate for Marie’s program. This means I get a commission if you sign up though my affiliate link. This is why, in return for you purchasing through my link, I’m offering three exclusive bonuses (listed below).
I believe deeply this is a win-win-win. You win by signing up for B-School and learning to completely escalate your business in a big way. I win when you purchase with my link. You win again by getting 3 exclusive bonuses. And that sounds fabulous to me!
Bonuses for you if you join B-School
When you join B-School using my affiliate link, you’ll automatically receive 3 bonuses to upgrade your entire B-School experience and help you make the most of this opportunity.
First, you’ll gain access to my private facebook group only for b-schoolers who have signed up from my community. This is important because you’ll be supported by like-minded individuals and often time fellow pilates instructors and studio owners! I’ll be in the group, too, interacting at your disposal for the entire duration of the course (8 weeks).
Second, you’ll receive an exclusive webinar recording where I translate some of the B-School material (certainly not all of it) to make sense for the pilates world. This benefits you as I’ve been through the program 3 times now and know it like the back of my hand. Let me shorten your learning curve by making connections for you on how Marie’s general content can be used for you in a pilates-specific way.
Third, you’ll receive a complimentary one hour consult call with me. I recommend this call happen towards the middle or ideally end of B-School so we can see what you’ve implemented, tweak as necessary and have some material to reference. If you are in a situation where you want the call right now, no problem, it is for you available any time.
I believe in B-School and if you think it is the right fit for you I look forward to supporting you on this journey!
Today is a holiday in the states and I realized I hadn’t emailed you in a while to check in and see how your pilates business is doing so far in 2013 – I’m sorry!
This past month has flown by and some of it (unfortunately) was spent “under the weather”. Even today my son is home nursing a cold.
Funny how the mind works but this reminded me of a principle shared by both pilates and marketing which is to “meet them where they are”.
In pilates this means to teach the student based on how they are moving and feeling that day. In marketing it means to speak to the prospect or client about things that are on their mind – not yours.
When I saw this funny cartoon below I had an idea for you!
People these days are using lots of tissues and trying to stay healthy. Just this weekend I was in the theater watching Les Mis and hoping all of the sniffles from people around me were due to their feelings and not their illness!
This is an ideal time to share with your clients what precautions you are taking in your studio setting to keep everyone healthy and a policy about illness if you have one (hint: you should).
Even if these are steps you would normally take (ie: wiping equipment after each use or having hand sanitizer available) it is good for clients to know and they will certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness. Plus, you’ll look like the professional you are!
Remember, to meet your clients where they are at you’ll always be steps ahead of your competition.
All the best,
P.S. – Thank you for being part of The Pilates Biz Community! I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes and can’t wait to share with you what is coming in Spring of 2013 to help you make this your best year in pilates ever!
Guest blog post by Michael Abbott
“I like to think of our website as the front door to our studio, depending on what people see, think and feel about it will determine if they walk in or not”
In our technological age, most of your potential clients will be looking for you online through search engines. Statistics show that as many as 95% of people now prefer internet searching as their primary method to find services. Even if they hear of your business by word of mouth, social media or other marketing and advertising methods like flyers and print ads, they will more than likely still make their way to your online presence before contacting you!
So what makes a Pilates studio’s website effective in terms of finding new clients? The overall goal of the website should be to encourage the potential client to do one of the following things…
1) Have them sign up for their first session at your studio themselves
2) Contact you with any questions they have
3) Join your newsletter and/or social media to stay in contact
So how do you do this? First, you need to know what makes any website effective.
A survey of over 8 million Google searches showed that only 6% of users look beyond the first page of results. A website needs to be highly ranked on search engines so that people searching for your services can find you (preferably before your competitors!). Improving this is a very complex process known as SEO (search engine optimization); and companies will spend millions in highly competitive industries to improve one or two ranking positions. The good news is that it’s far easier to reach the top position in Pilates searches with some simple techniques and strategies that you can do yourself.
Once a potential client finds your site they need to be able to easily “find” the information they want. Many studios make the mistake of trying to add as much information as possible into their site. Your aim is not to become the online resource for the history of Pilates or clutter your pages with general information not specifically about your business! Keep things simple to encourage the three types of interactions listed above.
The majority of the time, the first page people will see when searching for your website is your home page; Studies show that the average time you have to capture someone’s interest with your website is 7 seconds. At that point, they’re ready to hit the back button! With this statistic it is easy to recognize that an appealing homepage that invites the user to “look around” is crucial.
This term refers to the practice of creating your site to funnel potential clients to the information you want them to see. Since we know the 3 things we’d like that new client to do, we know that we want them to find their way to pages and places on your website that encourage them to do it!
Conversion refers to the number of goals achieved versus the number of visits. In other words, how many of the people who visited your site actually did one of the 3 goals of your website before they left? So many studio owners have no idea just how many people are finding their site only to leave without them ever knowing they were there or who they were! This is another complex area that doesn’t need to be for a Pilates studio’s website. There are tools to track how effective your site is and again, simple methods to improve your site’s overall conversion rate.
In the next part of this series, I will give you some simple techniques and ideas to improve your websites findability, first impression, funneling and conversion rate.
Part one of this series, Understanding What Makes an Effective Website, described the different aspects that contribute to a websites success. Now that we have the different components identified we can begin to improve them one by one.
There’s a lot that goes into determining your rank on search engines like Google; and, those things are constantly changing. Luckily the market place for Pilates studios is not super competitive in the online world as many studios are not doing the basics to stay ahead of the competition. Here are 3 easy steps you can take to improve your position.
1) Use Keywords and Phrases
Your website should be using the most commonly searched words and phrases in multiple locations throughout your site. The top locations in order of importance are your website address, page titles, content and image names. Your Google heading and brief description is another great place to carefully include these words and terms.
2) Add a Blog
Google heavily favors dynamic, changing websites over static ones. Adding a blog with frequent postings about relevant topics to your business can be effective in multiple ways. The more often you add a blog post to your site the more often search engines have to come back and index your content which improves ranking. It also gives you an opportunity to use those key words and phrases people are searching. A blog is also a great way to build an online following and community; this is a great way to have your current clients revisit your site often.
3) Add Your Business Website and Details to Online Directories
By adding your details to places like yelp, citysearch, yellow pages, yahoo local and community newspaper websites; you not only increase the chances of people finding you online but you are building links that go directly to your website. Increasing the number of genuine links to your website helps greatly improve your search engine rankings.
4) Use Social Media
By building an online presence through social media you will engage your current clients which will lead to their network seeing you through them.
People will trust what they consider to be a recommendation from someone they already know more than almost any other type of message. Every time you write a blog post in addition to sharing it to your own Twitter and Facebook pages, you should also have social media sharing buttons so that current clients can share your posts with their networks.
5) Site Navigation
Once someone finds your site they need to be able to find the information they want easily. Only an extremely small number of visitors are going to stay on your website for more than 5 minutes. With this in mind, it becomes clear to see the importance of having good site navigation without too much clutter.
1) De-clutter Your Homepage
Once someone finds your website they will determine very quickly if it looks promising or not simply by how the homepage looks. Avoid adding paragraphs of information or a “welcome to our website letter” directly on the homepage.
2) Make it Visually Appealing
Photographs, a great color palate and perhaps a video introduction or movement will give your homepage life and make it dynamic and appealing. Remember, most people will visit at least 2 or 3 sites before making their decision. Be sure you like the answer to the question when you ask yourself… does mine stand out.
3) Links & Menus
Having a very concise, clear and easy to use menu can make all the difference on a homepage. It is also the easiest way to improve your site navigation.
Since our goals are to have the new client sign up for an offer online, contact us or join a newsletter, we know that directing them to these opens in crucial.
1) Consistent Access to Options
You can easily include a header, footer or margin that is present on every page of your website that includes a “contact us” button or even a contact form. By doing this the chances that users will contact you increase dramatically.
2) Links Within Content
Using links throughout your content that leads to the pages you most want people to find will increase the chances of the desired action happening. For example, let’s say you offer a free class to every new client. Throughout your site, wherever you mention the “free class” should be a link to a page that directs them how to sign up.
3) Bounce Rate
Avoid or limit using links to places outside your own website. Doing this causes users to leave your site potentially before taking one of the actions that was your goal. Once a user leaves, you may not get them back.
1) Use Google Analytics
This free tool tracks every important piece of data on your website effectiveness. You can see what keywords people are searching for that result in finding you or where they came from, what pages people are viewing, how long they stay on your site, which links they click, how long they stay on the site, and much, much more! Without this tool, or a similar one, you cannot make adjustments to your website because you will not know what is working and isn’t!
2) Remove Any Excuses
Make it very easy to take one of the 3 desired actions. Have a very appealing introductory offer, make your contact methods super easy to take, have a free offer for those that join your newsletters. Anything that entices someone or removes extra steps to contact you is going to improve the rate at which people take action after exploring your website.
3) Do Everything Above
The conversion rate is going to be improved by working on all the areas from above. Doing just one will help a little, but to see the best results you want to address all of them.
When you are a Pilates professional you very quickly realize that there is not much time to work ON your business instead of IN your business. Having an effective website is worth the extra time and money because once it is producing new clients and leads it will continue to do so without any further money or effort!
Michael Abbott and his wife and started Reforming Indy Pilates Studio in 2007 and have grown it to a very successful business with over 2000 monthly visits and over half a million in revenue each year. www.reformingindy.com
Happy Holidays and Happy 12-12-12! In honor of the season and this “never to happen again” holiday I thought I would share with you my Top 12 Tips from The Pilates Biz.
My hope is that you’ll gain at least one insight or idea to help you propel your pilates career or business forward and set yourself up to make 2013 your best year ever.
Tip #1: One of the easiest ways to increase client satisfaction and attendance is to find out what your pilates clients’ want and then give it to them! It is that simple. To learn more, read: Finding Out What Your Customers Want
Tip #2: Help your prospects and new customers feel comfortable in your care by sharing clients testimonials everywhere. Not sure how to ask for and collect testimonials? Read about Collecting Testimonials here
Tip #3: Empower your staff to treat clients like VIPs and not get caught up in the small stuff. One great idea is to give them a permission slip (for real!) and you’ll be amazed at the result. Read more about that idea here at Your Permission Slip to Give to Pilates Instructors & Staff
Tip #4: Give your website some love and make it appealing to your ideal prospect. Not sure where to begin? Check out Your Pilates Business Website Mini-Checklist
Tip #5: If you are ripe for a major change and want to put 2012 behind you forever, recognize you have to behave differently to get the different results you desire. Here is a very short, easy yet powerful formula for transforming your business and life – Read This If You Want To Change Your Biz or Life
Tip #6: Recognize that as much as you can systematize your business the better! Not only will your clients be happier but your customer service will improve and you’ll have greater peace of mind that all is getting done. Check out my Top 10 Reasons The Pilates Biz Loves & Recommends MindBodyOnline
Tip #7: Remember sometimes it is the very little things that make a huge difference. Being polite and thinking about how people feel in your presence can be very powerful and will increase retention. Be sure to read What You Learned Waiting Tables Really Can Help Your Pilates Career
Tip #8: Know that you can have it all but that you can not do it all. Ask for help, get help, pay for or trade for help. It is the only way to grow and you’ll be amazed at what a few extra hours of help in your business can do for your profits. Since I know what you are thinking, read Can You Afford To Hire Help In Your Pilates Business If You Don’t Have Extra Funds?
Tip #9: Make a decision and stick with it about some of the unavoidable issues that comes with teaching pilates. Here is my take on the often debated 24 Hour Cancellation Policy and I encourage you to review your policies annually and see how you can improve them.
Tip #10: Start learning from being a customer of other businesses and model what you like (or change what you don’t like). This is a great crash course in business when you step back and look at how other service business treat you as a customer and what you wish they did. Be sure not to miss Is Selling Closet Doors & Pilates Really Similar?
Tip #11: Pick one new social media channel and put your anxiety aside and jump in! Social media is your online welcome mat and allows new clients to get to know you and your regular clients stay connected. Still not convinced? Read Social Media Fundamentals
Tip #12: My last tip is to remind you that the time is NOW and that this is the only moment you really have. Forget about waiting until you completely feel ready or comfortable as life and opportunities will pass you by. Whatever you are putting off, now is the time to do it and tweak as you go along. Here is some encouragement: When Is Good Enough Really Good Enough?
P.S. – Thank you for being part of The Pilates Biz Community. Your presence makes all the difference to me and I appreciate you!
First, to all our East Coast Members in the US from Team PilatesBiz: We’re thinking of you, your staff, your families & friends in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and hoping everyone is well. We wish you a speedy recovery, however great or small that might be, and in getting back on solid footing. Let pilates heal and ground both you and your clients, with the familiar routine expressed through movement.
I’m fine in California, and thankfully so are some of my dear friends and their family on the east coast. When moments like this happen, it can bring strangers together and unite us in our humanity. Here is to hoping that the pilates community unites and helps each other however needed.
If you live and work in a community impacted by the hurricane and will be at the PMA Conference next week, simply reply to this email with your contact information and we can arrange to meet up. I have some time to donate while at the conference (available to whoever replies first) and will happily do what I can to help you market your pilates services during this difficult time.
If you are not impacted by the hurricane, but still want to meet up for a strategic hour of consulting while at the PMA Conference, click here to schedule time with me on Friday, Nov 9.
Also, a great big “Congratulations!” to all of the recent graduates and current students of my best-selling online course, Profit With Pilates! They have been experiencing remarkable results and I couldn’t be more proud of each of you and love seeing you support each other online every day. To read some of their success stories, click here.
Wishing you all the best,
P.S. – I will write again later this week announcing a VIP program if you are ready to take your Pilates Biz and career to the next level and would like to work intimately with me – this will be for you.
CORE STUDIO PILATES & YOGA SPONSORS LADIES BUNCO NIGHT FOR A GREAT CAUSE AND WAS SURPRISED TO RECEIVE GREAT MARKETING AS WELL!
Guest blog by Jill Hinson
My studio, Core Studio Pilates & Yoga, decided to put together a team for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer to be held October 27-28 in Charlotte, North Carolina. We launched our Pink Ribbon Program in September, and thought the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer would be a great way to bring awareness to our new program and raise money for a great cause. Heather Moses, one of my instructors, and newly Director of Pink Ribbon Program, came to me with the idea to walk. “Almost 40 miles in 2 days, we can do it!” Honestly, the 40 miles did not scare me as much as the $1,800 that would need to be raised in order to be able to walk. We are talking $1,800 each person! We soon had a team of five members, two staff and three clients. If you quickly calculate, our team must raise almost $10,000! Heather and I made a pact that all donations that came into our studio we would split so clients did not feel pressured to make two separate checks. The checks started coming in, but I was nervous that I would need to find a way to raise about $1,000 more on my own. The economy is still tough for many people, and I did not want to beg for my remaining $1,000, along with the other members of the team we named CORE STUDIO – PROJECT PINK!
Six weeks ago one of my clients came to me with an idea for a fundraiser to help our team raise money. She had a few ideas, one being a cookie exchange, another being a ladies bunco night in her back yard. She hoped to raise a few hundred dollars. I’ll be honest, I barely have time right now to work on my monthly newsletter. How in the world could I prepare for a party, especially when I would rather clean toilets than plan a party! NOT MY THING!
Soon enough, the planning had begun! My fabulous client, Heather Bostic, who had this fabulous idea, gathered a couple of volunteers from our community who are not Core Studio clients, but wanted to help! We held out first meeting at a restaurant one block from my studio where we gathered ideas and left feeling a bit unorganized. I was worried, because I knew my reputation was at stake here. I told Heather B., “If this is a success I will take the credit and if it fails I will blame you!” We laughed, but I think she believed in what she was doing and was going to make sure it happened! “Bunco for Boobies” was in its planning stages!
Bunco for Boobies had to be moved from her small back yard to Morning Glory Farm, a unique
wedding & event venue in our county, because we were up to 50 guests! It just so happened that the gal who owns Morning Glory Farm is one of my yoga instructors! Her sister is our client and a breast cancer survivor, so she agreed to sponsor the venue! Our emcee was Kelly McKay from 107.9, one of Charlotte’s finest radio stations, once again donating her time! Soon enough we had a caterer (my client), beverages, DJ, T-shirts, and 100 gift bags donated and prepared by local businesses. The bags were adorable and had self-exam information from our local hospital (who, by the way became Pink Ribbon Program Certified with us!), pink nail files, BP gas cards, and ONE FREE GROUP CLASS TO CORE STUDIO PILATES & YOGA! Every bit of this was DONATED!
I decided it could not hurt to have a raffle, but with only four weeks to plan and one meeting left, I knew the raffle was on me. I decided to pursue local Downtown Monroe businesses near my studio for the raffle. I promoted this on my Facebook Page and my blog. Before long I had close to 30 raffle items, some over $200! Our Bunco team could not believe that businesses were emailing us and calling us to make donations! This was a lot of work, but the excitement of our community made me excited, and honestly, I can prepare a raffle much better than I can decorate for a party, so I was happy to make this my mission.
The event was held on September 20, and after paying a few bills we raised just over $3,600! We did not have 50 guests, rather we had 100 guests, at $25 per ticket! We honored survivors, played bunco, ate from our delicious pasta bar, carving station, and dessert bar. Then we danced! I am excited to tell you that our small studio and team of 5 members has raised over $9,500 and we still have one week to go!
The lesson here is to never underestimate what a community can do for a good cause, especially women supporting women. Over half of the women at Bunco for Boobies were not my clients, so this gave me the opportunity to let these women see what Core Studio is all about! This was never my intention, but I sure did take advantage of it! I gained 10 new Facebook likes that weekend, which is big for me! Through this process, I have learned that my giving mission is to focus on supporting women with breast cancer, and I am working to start a scholarship program for Pink Ribbon. We plan to do this again next September, only next year the money we raise will support our local survivors! One client, one vision, became something big!
Jill Hinson is a pilates instructor and studio owner of Core Studio Pilates and Yoga. She has a Bachelors Degree in Dance Education and is STOTT PILATES certified as well as faculty at Extreme Ice Center Skating School. Leave a comment below for her with questions about this event.
Over the past 7 days I’ve met some of the most successful pilates instructors and studio owners in our industry. I am so honored to know them and to have had the opportunity to help them grow their businesses and profits even more.
Some are studio owners and some are employees or independent contractors.
One thing they all have in common (in addition to passion) is my best selling online training program, Profit With Pilates.
There is no other system available in our industry that shows you exactly what you need to do to get more clients and make more money – allowing you to have more fun teaching pilates again.
Don’t believe me? That is OK. I can be a skeptic too.
Watch this testimonial video to hear about the results pilates instructors are getting as a result of joining Profit With Pilates.
This is your very last chance to take advantage of our current discounted special and receive a complimentary one-hour call with me. Life is too short to keep doing what you’ve always done to get the same disappointing results over and over.
Come join Profit With Pilates and let me help you get more clients, more profit and more fun.
Wishing you all the best,
P.S. – If you are ready to join Profit With Pilates and finally leave your frustration and past results behind, go here to sign up for immediate access. You’ll be so glad you did and I offer a “no questions asked, no problem at all” guarantee so there is no risk to you. Remember, just ONE new pilates client pays for this program many times over and you will always have life-time access. (I really am trying to make this easy for you.)
One of the things I hear frequently when I’m consulting is, “I just don’t know where to begin!”.
Ever feel that way?
Should you start with your logo, your brochure or website? Or try to tackle them all at once?
I filmed a short video for you explaining where you should start – even if you’ve been teaching pilates for a while. If you need to ramp up business and get clients in the door, watch this video.
My recommendation isn’t a “magic bullet” and is something you need to do consistently to get the best results. And I’m certainly not saying this is ALL you need to do.
In fact, in 2 weeks I’m hosting a live event to present a specific “blueprint” laying out exactly what it takes to make a living teaching pilates (you can see if there are still seats available here).
If you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck or losing hope the best thing you can do is take action. Watch the video and I’ll explain more.
Thank you for being part of The Pilates Biz Community and for allowing me to be part of your life each and every week.
Wishing you the very best,
P.S. – Be sure to let me know if you are attending the PMA Conference this year as I’d love to connect with you!
I just filmed a quick video for you with a little story of something that happened while I was on vacation in Yosemite National Park last week.
It’s not just a story, but a mini-lesson to remind you how important it is to be proactive in your communication with pilates clients.
After you watch the video, be sure to share your thoughts and if you’ve ever had to deal with something similar in your teaching space.
All the best,
Guest blog post by Hilary Opheim
I have learned many things since opening my Pilates studio almost 8 years ago. One thing I have seen is how some instructors are lacking in Professionalism and respect of the studio they are working in. Don’t get me wrong, not a lot but a few.
I have been very lucky with most all of my instructors but, as with any business we have had our “bad eggs”.
When I got certified there wasn’t really a section on this aspect of the business but, it seems pretty straightforward to me. It is like any job. Your boss is to be respected and the guidelines and rules in their workplace you follow. It doesn’t matter if you agree or if you would do it differently, you are in their space. In our Teacher Training at the studio we actually do have a section on this.
These studio owners are either paying you, giving you clients, or allowing you to use their space for a fee. That gives them the “right” to say what they want or don’t want in their space. How they want their equipment to be handled, clients etc.
I have very few rules or guidelines at my studio and they are pretty easy to follow. I imagine they are pretty standard for most Pilates studios with a few tweaks here and there.
When you are talking about professionalism and respect they pretty much go hand and hand at the studio.
Here are a few of my guidelines:
1. Always arrive at least 15 minutes before client prepared and ready.
2. Leave all negative energy outside the studio
3. Pick up after yourself and don’t leave an area a mess for another instructor.
4. Always respect your fellow instructors and the owner of the studio.
5. Don’t spend your clients hour talking about your problems and your life.
6. It is not your workout, it is your clients so don’t jump on the equipment with them.
One thing that I have always made clear from the beginning when interviewing a potential instructor is the respect of your fellow instructors and myself at the studio. I always let them know if they have issues with each other or me to communicate directly and not go behind someone’s back. It shows respect and being a professional. The wonderful thing about Pilates is the diversity of all the different styles and personalities of instructors. This shouldn’t create problems but rather, help each of us grow and become better.
These are all basic and seem simple right?
Professionalism and respect go hand in hand and just because the studio owner is not there doesn’t mean you lose the that or the respect for their space. The instructor is representing that studio and should do so in a way that the studio owner is wanting. It should be as if the owner is there. The clients see this and it reflects not only on the instructor but, the studio owner and the studio. Clients hear negativity and it just breeds and then they spread it around outside the studio.
I have found out sometimes later than I wished that those instructors that I thought were following the guidelines and respecting me and the other instructors, were in fact not.
I have had instructors that actually talked bad negatively about the studio, me and other instructors while training in the studio with clients and other instructors around. Others who worked out with clients while I wasn’t around, made fun of other clients in front of clients, even threw other instructors under the bus to make themselves look good. Not professional.
That being said, the same goes for the studio owner. They should also respect the instructors working in their space. There should be no talking behind the instructors back to other instructors or clients, no showing favorites in regards to giving clients, no making them look bad in front of their clients. The studio owner sets the tone and shows how the space should be for instructors and clients.
Now, what about when you leave the studio? There is great debate on are those your clients or the studio’s? I won’t go with one or the other but, it should be a respectful parting no matter how it happened. Talking negatively to clients on the studio owners end or the parting instructor is not professional but I have witnessed it.
The Pilates community is a very small, lovely island for me and bridges should never be burned, there is no reason to trash the studio or the owner to make the clients go with you or for the studio owner to trash the instructor to make the clients stay. I have always thought it was really the clients decision ultimately to stay or follow their instructor.
As a studio owner I also use professionalism and respect to my instructors. Allowing them to have the freedom to know what they need to do for their clients, to grow and be supported by the studio and myself, to back them up whenever they need it, and be respectful of their time and knowledge. I teach it in our Training and it is always part of the 3 month review when we hire on new instructors.
Pilates is a business, for the studio owner and the instructor. They should work together to make it the best for each, benefiting everyone including the clients.
Just as in any business there will be those that think they know more, the rules don’t apply, they won’t get caught. We have all seen them over the years. As a studio owner I try to make those professional qualities a focus when looking at new instructors and when I was an instructor going to different studios over my career I did the same when looking at the studio owner.
When the studio owner and the instructors who share that space all treat each other as professionals and respect each other then it is a win-win for everyone. It brings an energy, light and excitement to the space that the clients see, hear and talk about. There is nothing better and trust me, as we enter our 8th year, there is nothing better!
Owner/Director of Washington Ave Pilates in Houston, Texas. Have been in the fitness industry for over 20 years. Opened up my studio to really create a positive, supportive environment for instructors and clients. Developed Teacher Training Program and now sharing that passion with future instructors.
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