Spring is For Sales!

Spring has officially sprung! The days are getting sunnier and longer, the weather is finally getting out of its wintry funk. But with spring can come a certain feeling of fear-have you done all you could have to build your business over the fall and winter, so it can flourish? Or, like so many of us, have you run into what can feel like an insurmountable brick wall in trying to draw new clients in? Well don’t fear-it happens to us all, and there are several ways around both the feeling and the problem.

We all know that it can be difficult to grow a business in New York City, especially for health and fitness professionals. With a crowded market place, fast paced lives and a schedule that can sometimes feel difficult to manage, it can feel impossible just to manage your own clients, let alone drawing new ones in. But trust me when I say that you want to focus on your growth in order for your business to start its climb to success!

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As anyone who has tried to build a business knows, perhaps the most difficult thing about the beginning stages are creating and maintaining a client base. It can feel time consuming, sometimes expensive, and even nigh upon impossible. But don’t fret yet-there are ways to grow your business that require a little patience and dedication, but that are ultimately simple and even free of charge!

In my latest Periscope, Planting the Seed of Sales, I take you through the beginning steps of authentically and organically growing your business. Start with list building, opt-ins and email providers, and before you know it, you’ll have a group of real people-no spam bots just for numbers and show-that have really, truly opted to view your content. Time and dedication are the keys to success-the paid ways to boost followers can feel instantly gratifying, but may not be the right decision in the long term.

Keep your eyes peeled for more biz tips and tricks from me, and more Periscopes taking deep dives into biz topics.

Guest Post: 3 Ways to Connect via Social Media (No Selfies Required)

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Selfies. Baby Pictures. Buzz Feed articles about which Disney character you’re likely to be if you turned into a cartoon. For many, social media seems overwhelming and self-centered. And for business owners, it can feel like one more task on an already overflowing “to do” list, but there’s hope!

 

When used well, social media is an incredible way to genuinely connect with your students and clients to help them achieve their life and fitness goals. Read on, to see how…

 

3 Ways to Authentically Connect with Your Ideal Clients:

 1- Post with Your Ideal Client in Mind: social media for business isn’t about you; it’s about them. Who’s your ideal client? What excites him/her? What are their biggest pain points and how can you help them reach their goals? Photos, videos, and blog posts that inspire and encourage them to take action, while inviting them to join you in the journey are a fantastic way to engage.

 

2-Social Media is Social for a Reason: People would not be on social media if they were not open to connect with new people, so don’t be shy about reaching out to someone new via Facebook, Twitter, or other networks. Start with something you genuinely appreciate about her. Maybe you liked a post she wrote or a photo she shared. Let her know, and she will almost always respond and reciprocate.

 

3-Quality Over Quantity: Posting a million times a day is not the answer. Consistency and high quality are much more important. The amount of posting varies based on network and ideal client, but in general, daily posting is preferable and photos, short videos, and quotes that provide high quality content receive more engagement.

Jacqueline Smile

 

About Jacqueline:

 

Jacqueline Boone is a Business & Digital Marketing Consultant and the Creator of the online publication & web series, 6 Months to Live. She specializes in working with mission-driven entrepreneurs (or soon-to-be entrepreneurs) and small businesses that want to make a profound impact on a global scale and teaches them strategies to expand quickly.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Jacqueline at

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Got Testimonials?

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Earlier this week I returned from an ah-maz-ing trip west to California. While connecting to old friends and clients, I realized that I’ve been teaching for ten years now!!! Pretty amazing how time flies right? Feels like just yesterday that I was in my certification program, getting my first reformer, and struggling to name my biz. Looking back at how I’ve grown makes me realize the importance of how my business has grown. Back in the day when I had my little one room studio in Silverlake, I pieced together a website and just cruised along by word of mouth. People would just stumble upon me searching for that new thing called Pilates on the inter-webs. While that laissez-faire approach to marketing worked when Pilates wasn’t the phenom it is today, nowadays to grow your client base you need proof that you’re not just full of, well…you know. One of the best ways to snatch a client and make them want you is proof, the social kind. 

Simply put, social proof is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. People are wired to learn from the actions of others. Think about the velvet rope concept. If there’s a line around a club and a velvet rope separating us from something we see others wanting we want it…and want it bad. The same concept applies in your Pilates business. When everyone is singing your praises, you get a write up in a magazine/blog, or are featured on the tele….the calls and emails start pouring in. So how the heck do you get said proof and start this avalanche of good fortune you ask? Testimonials, my dear. They are the answer to transform proof into dollar signs. Here’s my 5-step plan on how to get mind-blowing-ly effective testimonials. Check it:

Step One: Get out there and ask! The easiest way to get people to gush about you is to simply ask, especially right after you’ve just given them a killer kick-ass session! You want them to speak about their session when it’s fresh in their minds and they are on a Pilates high! Be prepared in advance with a list of questions either on a Google Doc or via a free online survey like survey monkey (check out my list of questions below). Make sure to give them a deadline so they don’t procrastinate too much while still respecting their time. You can also easily record them using a voice recorder (so you don’t have to take notes) and let them just rave away.

 

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It’s not just that Lindsay is an amazing Pilates teacher- and she is- or that she’s got a heart big as the outdoors, which she does, but it’s her fierce commitment to the vision she knows I’m capable of and her intuitive sense of how to get me there. In short, Lindsay is a gift!

 Tripp Hanson, NYC, Acupuncturist Extraordinaire, Owner of HealingPerspective

 

Step Two: Mix it up! Since we’re in the visual age, I like to take advantage and use a mix of written and video testimonials. You can ask clients if they’d be willing to be recorded and using a little flip-cam or even your webcam to capture images and sound bites that will convert even the most skeptical of clients. Social Media is also a great place to capture praise. Take screen shots of particularly favorable posts on Facebook or Twitter, and if you have a WordPress blog you can use the tweetstimonial plug-in to stream the honey-tongued tweets.

Step Three: Over deliver but keep lower expectations. Honesty is key here. People can sniff out fake-y praise from a mile away. The best way to get a radiant review is to over deliver. Wow your clients with the best possible service and attention you can possibly give. Before their session, find out what their goals are and make a customized plan. Or maybe give them a print out of their progress, as well as individualized homework in the form of a YouTube video. Then, follow up via email or phone to see how they’re feeling and if there’s anything you can put together for their next session. This full-service attention will make all the difference. It’s NOT ENOUGH to just do what you say you will: teach them Pilates, make them more flexible, strong, etc. You have to give them something that they wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else. Trust me, give, give, give and watch them shout about you from the mountain tops! So, while you want positive reviews you don’t want to overdo it on the sugar. Make sure you feature some testimonials that include client’s hesitations or possible concerns they had with trying your product or service. Just like we relate to others’ victories, we also relate to others’ fears and losses. Be sure to include some as well.

Step 4: Get Personal and Ask Please. Make sure to include as much personal information about your referrers as possible. Add their name and location, a photo, info on their profession or a link to their website. Seeing a face that you can link to a voice will make the difference to prospects when they visit your website or read your marketing materials. The more you can include the better. Also, make sure to get permission to use everything from the clients, including consent to edit the content. Make your testimonials short and sweet, and bold the important parts to catch the eye!

Head ShotWorking with Lindsay (business coaching) is very empowering and keeping me on track. Totally worth it! 

 Sandi Vilacoba, New Jersey, Owner of ThePilatesProject

Step 5: Mirror Mirror Pick the clients to interview that you would want more of. Do you just love that lady who always pays on time, shows up early, and is interesting, kind, and funny? Interview her! Prospects that see themselves in your current clients will respond to this kind of social proof. We all want more of the good things we’ve already got, right?

So, you’re ready to go out there and get testimonials, right? Get on it now! Start by taking a peek at the 7 questions I ask my clients here. Remember that you can customize them to suit your needs. Create your survey or document today! Make sure to share this post and leave your comments below on how it feels to get testimonials for your biz…

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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!

 

The Proof is in the Pilates

trust-meThings are going well with your Pilates business. You have your own clients. They’re loving Pilates, taking steady sessions, and referring others to you. If that’s the case, why is it that while things are going well, you can’t seem to make the jump to the next level? You’re still struggling month to month to pay your bills and get ahead. When clients go away for  a week or two you feel like you’re gonna tear your hair out or have to move back home with your parents just to make the rent.

While the studio is filled with others just like you, there’s that one Pilates instructor teaching on the reformer next to you that somehow gets celebrity clients and high profile gigs. You’re both qualified instructors, teaching your booties off, making clients smile. So how is it that she’s succeeding and you aren’t? Easy. It’s a little thing called social proof my dear. Social proof.

Never heard of it huh? Chances are you’ve seen other’s social proof without even knowing it. You’ve see the write up about Pilates so-and-so did for Health mag. You’ve read that tweet about how a certain client LOVED her session with what’s-her-face. That’s the proof and it’s pretty powerful. Those simple mentions are what makes a non-believer into a convert. A potential client into a paying one. Wondering how you can get some proof for yourself? Here’s three simple ways below:

  • Help a Reporter Out or HARO as it’s cleverly called. Writers have stories for which they need sources. That’s where you come in. You are the expert in your field (remember the $2000 plus you spent on your cert?) and it’s time to tell the world about it. Subscribe to HARO to get daily updates on queries that you may be able to lend a quote, tip, or get interviewed
  • Get your clients to testify Testimonials are one of the main reasons someone decides to book with you or not. Prospects want to see that you changed people’s lives, helped alleviate their back pain, or even made them fit into their wedding dress. This is proof. Having quotes from clients that love you and are devoted to you makes makes a huge difference. To get the goods, ask nicely, get permission, and be specific about what you want to hear. Then pimp that stuff out on your website and marketing materials!
  • Earn some props Give good love, get some back. If you give killer sessions and your clients are singing your praises, ask them to shout it out! Merely ask them to tweet about you or post about it on their Facebook wall. It’s extra nice (and the best way to ensure your request deliver results) to offer a little incentive which could be anything from a free mat class to a percentage off their next package. Then RT and re-post those puppies asap.

Getting authentic praise will take some work and patience. Just follow these simple steps and with you’ll be on the way to building your tribe. The more the word gets out how major you are as a Pilates instructor people will be waiting in line to book.

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

 

 

Why you need a website

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Last month I did a guest blog for Fit with Flair about the importance of having a website for your business. THEN, just last week a good friend and very talented massage therapist, emailed me to ask for help her promoting her business. The thing is- she has NO WEBSITE!!! I couldn’t believe it. All of that work promoting but no where for people to go to find her! A website is one of THE most important things you can do for your business. Check out my post to see why. Vanessa (I could link to your website here V but you don’t have one!)- this one is for you!

Lindsay Lopez | Form Pilates

Written on November 6, 2011

Websites and Social Media, oh my!

Somehow in the infancy of my business, without being informed of it’s true value, I knew the importance of a having a website.

When I started my company, FORM Pilates, almost 10 years ago now, It was one of the first things I did.

Initially, my Pilates business was out of my home, so I knew that without a website notifying who I was and what I did- no one would ever hear of me. I did my homework, looked at tons of other fitness and Pilates business’ sites for ideas. I saw what worked, but mostly what didn’t. The majority of the sites I checked out were confusing, hard to navigate, and missing pertinent information. Armed with this ammunition I created a site that was visually pleasing, without hard-to-load flash, and was the essence of who I was as a business. It was easy to navigate, with links on each page to anywhere on the entire site. No need to click back to go where you’ve already been.

Ah, those were the days. 10 years ago Pilates wasn’t the phenomenon it is today. The internet wasn’t as congested with studios and practitioners as it is today. I got most of my new clients from my website, and because I was the only studio in my area google ranked me as #1. You won’t find that that’s the case in this technology age. Your website is now a virtual business card and everyone has one. SEO has clogged up the web-o-sphere so much that getting your site to appear in a simple search is harder than getting accepted into college! This spawned the dawn of social-media and it’s importance to getting yourself noticed.

Since our existence can be virtually virtual, we don’t network in bars or at meetings, but online- on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Your website is the final destination, but your connection to the world begins where everyone is congregating. I mean, who isn’t on Facebook these days (except maybe your Mom, which can be a good thing)? Even our children and pets have their own twitter accounts! If you want to spread your entrepreneurial wings you have to be Social Media savvy.

Here’s my bit of advice for anyone who will listen:

Hire a designer to do a professional website and get in-the-know with the social media revolution. Don’t try to do a website on your own- it will look home-made. Ask around for recommendations, you can get a professional website without all the frills for less than $500 these days.
Take courses online for free on how to drop into the social media world. I belong to Ladies who Launch (who have free web-inars weekly) and I also subscribe to HubSpot  who has wonderful free webinars as well. Join Hootsuite to easily moderate your online media presence, and above all stick with tweeting and posting stuff that you find interesting and valuable.

Your followers can smell inauthenticity a mile away. Overall- be yourself, stick to your guns, and follow your gut. You’ll find your tribe, and they will be just who you wanted them to be.

I challenge you to pick one thing you can do to update your website and up your game and get to it now not later! Share your plan in the comments below….

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