Whether you are opening a new Pilates studio or resuming in-person instruction after a Covid-induced pause, you will need to invest time (and possibly money) in getting the word out about your business and what makes it special.
Recently, Pilates Anytime vice president Gia Calhoun sat down for a Zoom chat with Lesley Logan, founder of Profitable Pilates and a business coach for Pilates professionals, to talk about marketing. We’ve gathered a few of Logan’s top tips in this blog post. You can watch the entire conversation here.
If you’re the rare Pilates professional who loves to work on marketing, consider yourself lucky. “For many of us,” says Calhoun, “the word marketing is almost taboo.” According to Logan, that’s because the majority of Pilates teachers are women, and a lot of women were raised to not brag about themselves.
“People think marketing is a form of bragging. You're literally telling people how amazing you are at what you do,” she says.
The problem is that if you don't let people know what you can do for them, someone else will, and you’ll not only lose a potential client, you’ll also have missed out on helping that person move better, feel less pain, have more energy, or all of the above. In fact, says Logan, “It's selfish to keep it to yourself.”Marketing doesn't have to be scary. It doesn't have to involve standing on a street corner, handing out flyers. It can be done in a way that feels authentic to you.
It’s not enough just to tell people about Pilates in general and how it can benefit them. “People find you because they know what you do,” says Logan. If you only talk about what Pilates is, then you're doing a great job of marketing Pilates, but you’re not showcasing what makes your teaching distinctive. Instead, turn the marketing conversation to what you do and how it helps your clients.
“We have to get past this roadblock that marketing is scary or that you're not good at it. No one's good at anything when they start,” says Logan. “But the worst case scenario is that people don’t see or hear your message, and the best case is that they do and they ask you a question. That can lead to a conversation about what you can do for them.”
Logan likes to say that when it comes to marketing efforts, “You either have time or you have money.” She doesn’t recommend spending on marketing until you have honed your message and come up with language that actually gets people's attention. Once you have good insights on what gets people to say, "Yes, I want that," then you can start to budget for marketing. That might look like paying your front desk manager who’s great at social media to handle the studio’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, for example, or it could mean hiring an outside expert.
Don’t think that expensive equals better, says Logan. “Free and organic can go a long way,” she says. In this case, “organic” refers to digital marketing that you do yourself, over time on social media, as opposed to paid posts.
What are your tried-and-true methods for getting the word out about your Pilates business? Share your best practices in the comments below.
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