List Building 101

This video blog is all about lists- email lists that is! Do you know that your email list is THE most important marketing tool you have? Not your Facebook page. Not your Twitter followers, but your organically grown email list.

No list? No problemo. Here’s three quick and easy ways to get people to sign up for your email list:

  1. Just ASK! Getting people to agree to get your newsletter or regular Pilates communication is less complicated than you think. We tend to not want to “bother” people and don’t even ask. How will people know that you even have a list if you don’t tell them?? Tell them you are building the thing and they will come…you’d be surprised;) Have a link to your email list on your biz card, on your website, and pimp it out as much as you can!
  2. Offer a killer freebie on your site Assuming you have a website, and assuming you have an email marketing provider (if not see the ps below), you should be displaying your email sign-up link front and center. If that’s the case and you’re still not getting bites, try offering a little treat in exchange for peeps emails. It can be a short video, a free consult, or an informative article you’ve written. Just the simple act of exchange will make the interested give up the goods.
  3. Shout it out social media style Make sure you tell your followers and fans that you have a list. You can even share exclusive content just with your list to get them to sign up. Put a prominent link to join your list on your page or profile, and make sure to post or tweet weekly about your email list.

Follow just these three simple tips and you’ll see your list grow in no time! Remember that your list is more valuable with 5 organic emails than 500 uninterested ones. List building takes time but eventually you’ll see results.

ps- if you don’t have a website click the link below to get a FREE 30 min strategy mesh with yours truly for easy tips on how to do it inexpensively. If you have a site but don’t have an email marketing provider I recommend: The best free option: Mail Chimp Integrates with MindBody Soft: Constant Contact Newest email marketer on the block: Emma

If you like this video make sure to like it and share it with everyone you know;) Leave your biggest email marketing challenges and freebie ideas below!

Not quite sure if you’re ready to get your coaching on? Enter your deets here and let’s stay in touch!

 

Interview With An Instructor: Edya Kalev

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May is my very favorite month of the year. For starters it’s my bday month, all of the flowers are a bloomin’, and the hellacious humidity of NYC hasn’t hit us just yet. Now May has gotten even better. I’m learning how to massage- wait for it….massage myself!

As part of our continuing education series we’re hosting a workshop for a wickedly good method called MELT. Ever felt after a looong day at the computer or on a plane that your body was wound tighter than bundle of piano wire? While we believe that Pilates can help put you back on track (obvi!) science now shows that that’s just not enough. Enter MELT. In conjunction with a regular Pilates practice this is the missing piece to release “trapped stress” that lives in our connective tissue which surrounds every joint, muscle, nerve, bone and organ. In short, MELT-ing will set you up for optimal performance in your Pilates practice.

Join expert instructor and MELT teacher trainer Edya Kalev, May 11th at my Union Square studio, FORM Pilates to learn it for yourself. This workshop will introduce you to the basic MELT Core program, including MELTing the ribs, and pelvis, decompressing the lower back, and releasing the neck. In addition, Advanced Core techniques will be covered for those who want to jump right in and challenge their newfound stability. All participants will receive a printed “MELT Map” to take home containing all the exercises, illustrated and with detailed instructions. All are welcome, and no previous experience is required. Click here to register to join us while we learn to MELT into rebalance!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Including where you currently teach.

I am an Advanced MELT Instructor with a background in education. I used to work in living-history museums, in many different centuries, in many different costumes.  It was really fun!

Now I teach weekly MELT classes at the JCC Manhattan, the West Side YMCA, The Breathing Project, and in various locations in Washington Heights.  I teach workshops at fitness centers, yoga studios, and Physical Therapy offices in NYC and MA.

2. How did you find Melt?
I found MELT at the JCC, took my first class in 2006, and went up to the instructor afterwards to ask when there would be a training.  I knew right away I wanted to teach it. I became certified in 2007 and have been teaching ever since. Now I also assist Sue Hitzmann in her trainings and coach other instructors.

3. What was your inspiration in the path you chose?

My body hurt.  It doesn’t anymore.

8660080040_376ec5ac9a_m4. What is your favorite MELT exercise and why?
For MELT I love the 3 Dimensional Breath Breakdown.  It’s so comforting after a long day. A second favorite is the Soft Ball Foot Treatment.  Feels so good and makes such an immediate difference in how I stand.  My head feels lighter.

 

5. Do you have a motto, a favorite quote, or mission statement that you live by?

Feel and follow. If you trust your body and just follow it’s lead, it will take you in the right direction.

6. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?
I have a 3-year old little girl.  She MELTs another part of my body completely!

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Why You Should Pretend You’re A Vegan

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your bouts with Vegetarianism. There was that time in once in high-school when you thought that eating a cheeseburger from McDonalds without the patty was a “veggie” burger. The time you declared yourself a veg because you only eat fish, which you already never ate. Yes, we were cool before it was cool to be Vegetarian. Turns out, that it’s not just good to beef up (no pun intended) your intake of plant based foods while also shunning animal products such as dairy and meat, but also good for you.  If the thought of giving up your steak is unquestionable- you can at least eat like a vegan a few days a week and still reap the benefits. Here’s why it’s healthy to eat like a vegan, or at least pretend you are one:

  • It can make you skinnier Not that I condone the idea that “skinny” is better than “fat” (ugh, I just hate typing those words!), but it’s a fact. Vegans just consume less calories than the carnivorious types. Also, because lots of processed super market foods contain animal products, Vegans tend to read labels and avoid foods they don’t make themselves. For example- marshmellows contain gelatin which is made from boiling skin, bones, and other animal parts. Or,  red dye, aka cochineal is made from grinding up insects!!!! Yuck! That’s enough to turn me vegan for good!
  • You will be healthier. Bill Clinton did it after his heart woes, celebs like Ruben Studdard of American Idol fame lost his unhealthy weight by becoming a vegan. The German Cancer Research Center did a study where they found that veggie men reduced their risk of early death by 50%, women by 30%! The better health can be contributed to the fact that you’re stuffing your face with green stuff loaded with vitamins vs saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, antiboitics, toxins.
  • You will be a concious eater. No more can you just pick up fast-food on the way home, as a vegan you’ll have to plan your meals to insure you actually get enough of the good stuff. Meal planning and reading labels makes you a concious eater and that will not only make you feel better inside and out but cause you to put your attention on creating a healthy life for yourself. That’s good anyway you slice it!

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Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret! There’s simple ways to work the vegan lifestyle into your routine. Try swapping your cow’s milk to almond in your cereal. Plan to cook veggie a couple days a week. Suggest going to a vegan restaurant instead of a steak house every now and then. In upcoming posts, I’ll be featuring some Vlogs (video blogs) with my good friend and vegan chef Jenné Claiborne , so stay tuned! Try treating yourself like a vegan- your body will thank you inside and out!

Do you dream about vegetables? Already cooking veggie-style? Maybe you have a recipe you’d like us to do a Vegan redo? We’d love to hear about it! Leave your comments or pictures below! 

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photos courtesy of sweet potato soul blog

How I Got My Business Balls

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Business is well, business. While it can be creative, exciting, and fun- it can also be cut-throat. You have to be tough to survive, and even tougher to thrive. In my time as an entrepreneur I’ve had to grow up, put on my big girl panties, and get fierce. I had to build up my ability to deal with difficult situations and ask for what I want.

My story is not unique. Every week in my coaching I hear of women, just like me, that have difficulty standing up for themselves and feeling in control during conflict. Running your own business requires cajones. You have to be willing to act like a “man” to gain respect. Just think of Mr. Pilates himself. Would be wishy washy with his clients? Joe wouldn’t so why should you? Watch this little video about how I got my Business Balls, and how you can find yours too!

Now, make sure you take these two simple steps to get powerful in your business:

  1. Make a list of 3 situations that you need to be stronger with your business
  2. Then under each, list 3 small exercises you can do to help you get gutsy

Next, follow through with your steps and remember what Joe said- “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” Just like your one hundred….a little workout won’t kill you and you’ll be happy you showed up!

Got your balls (or ovaries if you please)??? If not, lemme show you how to get some!  

Interview With A Pilates Instructor: Benjamin Degenhardt

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Benjamin and I met on Twitter. Yes, that’s right Twitter. Turns out that the twiter-sphere is a great way to connect to our community and this time it lead me right to Mr. Degenhardt. There are so many things that I love about Benjamin, but what first drew me to him was his enthusiasm for the history of Pilates. His passion to know how Joe lived, thought, and  intended his method to be is inspirational. I’ve nick-named him the Pilates anthropologist.

Benjamin will be visiting my little NYC studio this month. He’s presenting an amalgamation of two great seminars. His 4-hour workshop starts with an exciting journey into the past. We’ll look at rare archival writings, discover what Joe Pilates was looking to achieve, the philosophy behind his method, as well as his plans for the future of Contrology. Next, his ‘Upright Pilates’ will focus on the essence of the Pilates method – transferring the results of the work into our everyday activities and achieving functional strength. Click here to get more info on the workshop and to register. Ben will also be available for private, duet, and semi-private sessions at the studio. Don’t miss this chance to see all his research and Pilates artifacts as well as be touched by his teaching. Now onto the interview…

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Please make sure to include where you currently teach.

My name is Benjamin Degenhardt and I currently reside in Boston, MA. I have been involved in the Pilates world since 1999 in addition to an extensive dance and movement teaching background. I created 360° Pilates, a continuing education program designed to reconnect instructors to the original teachings of Joseph Pilates, with a keen eye on modern knowledge of functional movement. Most recently I initiated a campaign called March MATness to inspire people to incorporate Pilates into their everyday lives. You can find me online at benjamindegenhardt.com

2. How did you find Pilates (or your area of expertise)?

Pilates Mat classes were part of my dance training about 15 years ago. Needless to say, it was a complete game-changer! It helped me stay strong and healthy through several dance-related injuries, and I never lost Pilates out of my sight throughout my dance career.

 3. What was your inspiration in the path you chose?

In addition to the amazement about the impact Pilates had on my physical health and life in general, I remember being completely in awe of the wealth of knowledge my teachers had about human movement, and their passion for teaching. They are still my biggest inspiration, and it fulfills me to be able to pass some of their generosity on to other teachers now.

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 4. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

If I had to pick one, it would have to be The Hundred. While it seems to be so different from all the other exercises, I find that it truly packs the challenge of the entire Pilates repertoire into one simple move. In less than a minute it warms you up and tells you more about your body than most other exercise ever could.

5. Do you have a motto, a favorite quote, or mission statement that you live by?

Communicate selflessly. Teach generously. And move scrumptiously.

6. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

I’m a true Pilates geek, so much of my spare time goes into continuing my education, as well as researching the history of Contrology. I managed to collect well over 200 pages of original writings by and about Joe Pilates, as well as over 4 hours of video footage. It fascinates me how clear Joe was in his trajectory, yet how lost we are as an industry when it comes to pinning down what Pilates actually is. I am hoping to shed some light on just that with my work. But when I am really away from the studio and my materials, I enjoy movement of any kind (and try to immerse myself in a new physical activity every year), traveling, and I’m a bit of a foodie – good thing I love to exercise!

Benjamin Degenhardt is the mastermind behind 360° Pilates, a continuing education program for Pilates teachers. He has been involved in the Pilates world for over a decade in addition to his extensive dance and movement teaching background. While performing as a dancer he found a passion for teaching movement and, inspired by Joe Pilates, immersed himself in the study of injury prevention and body mechanics. With his expertise in historical Pilates and modern fitness he established himself as a “teacher of teachers” and conducts workshops around the globe. He has maintained a true passion for the Pilates method and its ability to improve people’s lives. You can find him and his articles for Pilates teachers on his website at benjamindegenhardt.com

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