How does a Pilates teacher and/or studio owner continue to thrive in an industry and a world encompassed with economic instability, talks of a looming recession, and an overstimulated society that demands fast results and bores easily?
We’ve all heard about or have even experienced first-hand tales of Pilates professionals living paycheck to paycheck or on the verge of burnout, with increased competition and business/studio closures.
Before you throw in the towel and literally quit your day job to jump into the corporate world let’s review some key points for feeling and staying successful, fulfilled, and passionate within your community and industry. Remember, there are PLENTY of Pilates teachers around the world redefining success and thriving with their Pilates businesses, many of them are not ‘famous’ but are rockstars in their community. If they can do it so can YOU!
Here are 8 tips to keep you flourishing in the Pilates world:
Think back to when you started Pilates. Do you remember how you felt and how excited you were to share this amazing modality with everyone you met? That’s the passion that you want to tap into when the going gets tough. Take a few minutes to define your WHY. Define why you do what you do and how the way you do it is unique, special, and important.
It’s so easy to fall prey to the ‘comparison trap’ and lose focus of what you really want and what works best for your lifestyle. Not every teacher has to become a teacher trainer, open their own studio, run retreats, or travel the world unless they really want to and it fits with their ‘why’. If you are happily living a comfortable life and fostering a community of health-conscious individuals, that’s more than enough and it is truly special. If you’re struggling and unhappy, then look internally to what you really want from your Pilates business and start making a plan for how to get there.
It’s normal sometimes to fall into a monotonous pattern in your own practice or teaching. Everyone needs inspiration and we all find it from various sources. Stay inspired by attending workshops, online classes, joining a mastermind, or attending a class outside of your studio.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."
Part of being and staying inspired is exploring what life has to offer outside of work and Pilates. Being well-rounded is an asset. What else interests you or makes you curious? What other events are happening in your community? This isn’t always about spending more money, there are plenty of free resources out there. The world is truly your oyster!
Job stability doesn’t exist like it used to and even if you work for a company, everyone needs some entrepreneurial know-how. There are numerous business resources out there whether you’re a brick and mortar studio or an online business.
Many Pilates professionals don't get out there and promote themselves. How can they find you if you’re not talking about yourself and your services? Don’t be shy. Keep your elevator pitch ready because your potential clients are out there waiting and looking for what you have to offer. Also, your website is your 24-hour assistant and the key is to be updating it consistently. Blog posts are a fantastic way to keep your business showing up in web searches and to collect email addresses.
If this seems overwhelming to you, it’s okay. You still have a lot of options. Start small, maybe putting aside 2-3 hours a week for checking out business tips online or listening to podcasts. Then start implementing what you learn. You can also hire someone to do your website or write blogs, take a business course, or join a Mastermind.
One of the most challenging aspects of being a Pilates teacher is narrowing down who you serve and speaking to them directly. It doesn’t mean you can’t have clients from all walks of life and abilities but focusing on the aspect of what lights you up within Pilates may be where your niche lies.
Some instructors focus on pre/postnatal, active agers, football players, dancers, veterans or children... the possibilities are endless! Speaking to them through your blog posts, social media, and publicity will eventually get them through your doors. Remember, it takes some patience and persistence and as Pilates Anytime teacher Lesley Logan explains that it now takes 12 touchpoints to get that paying client, so keep the faith and keep at it.
What’s happening in the world? What are the global and local trends? How are these trends relatable to what you offer or can offer? For example, Pew Research predicts there will be 3.7 million centenarians around the globe by 2050 which means people are living longer and they want to live with quality. If you’ve considered working with active agers, this could be a new branch for your business.
Climate change is a growing concern, especially amongst the younger populations, how can you make your business or studio more ‘green’ to fit in with the ideals of your clients?
Never underestimate the value of what you, as a Pilates teacher or studio owner, offer the world. Know your worth but continue to be grateful for the community you’ve built. Continue to provide value, listen to your clients' needs, and implement the changes that both serve you and them.
Applying any or all of these tips are bound to propel your business further and keep you flourishing in the Pilates world! For more tips, details, ideas, and inspiration check out the Pilates, It's Your Business program and Becoming: The Secrets to Thriving as a Teacher.
We’d love to hear from you, please share with us how you’re continuing to flourish in the Pilates Community in the comments below.