As a Pilates instructor I spend a lot of time instructing clients who are brand new to the Pilates method of exercise. I find myself reminding and reassuring them a lot that’s it’s ok to be a beginner and that learning anything new is a process that just takes time (I wrote a whole other blog about that here). You can’t expect to learn everything the first day and really the only way to keep improving is to practice.
If you are an instructor or maybe even a Pilates or Yoga studio owner I would say the same thing to you about marketing. Learning to market yourself and your business is a process that just takes time and practice. You can’t learn it all in one day and there is always more to learn, so the best thing you can do is stay positive and keep working at it.
If you are anything like me, when I first started teaching, even when I first opened my business I was not thinking about marketing. I had found something I loved that I could do as a profession and I was excited to teach. I thought if I just did what I loved really well the word would spread and soon my business would grow. I didn’t want to have to “sell” something because that just wasn’t me and I wasn’t good at selling things to people.
Well, in many ways my business did grow (but slowly). It wasn’t long before I figured out that if I was going to make a profession out of teaching Pilates, I needed to figure out how to run a business and how to keep new clients coming to me. I still didn’t like to use the word “marketing” as it just sounded to salesy for me. Luckily. there is a ton a free content online and great business books out there and I dove in learning whatever I could.
I signed up for an online business training course for Pilates instructors (Profit with Pilates) that really sparked my love for figuring out how to run a successful business and make $$ doing what I loved. I also started to love the challenge of marketing (and I could finally say the word without feeling like it was a bad thing!) Through that course I connected with an amazing group of fellow instructors who were on the same quest I was. To this day I still share ideas and business and marketing questions with this group of Pilates friends. It’s been fun to watch their businesses grow over the years and continue to learn from them.
After having such great results in my business by putting a little effort into learning about marketing I decided to dive in a little deeper into the business and marketing world by signing up for BSchool, an 8 week online business school. (This was about 4 years after I had originally started my business). I was starting to figure out that I needed to continue learning and growing my marketing skills if I wanted to run a successful business. I was also starting to figure out that the more I learned and implemented, the better I got at marketing, and the better my business did. Bschool was nothing short of amazing and since I have lifetime access to it I still go back and use the content on a regular basis to work on my business.
Fast forward to today, about 7 years after originally opening my business and my love of marketing and growing a business is as strong as ever. My business has grown enough for me to realize I can’t effectively do all the marketing myself if I want to spend my hours doing what I really love to do- teach Pilates!
I’ve learned through my training and learning process what a crazy powerful tool social media can be in marketing and I have been trying to use it, but honestly I knew my efforts were not that effective. Sure, I would post when I thought about it or maybe before or after I was teaching, but I was really inconsistent. I tried teaching some of my front desk staff to post or help but they didn’t always know what to post or the proper timing of it. I knew there was a better way to do it, but quite honestly I was having a hard time figuring out how to learn it and how to find the time to do it!
That’s where Farm Girl Marketing Solutions comes in to save the day. Becky (aka Farm Girl Marketing Solutions) had been a Pilates client of mine for well over a year and we often talked social media and marketing because she was a social media super star (clearly she loved it and knew her way around it better than anyone I knew). I was a business geek who was trying to learn everything I could about how best to promote my business. Somewhere along the way I asked her if she had any interest in helping me with social media at the studio and it turned into one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business and me!
One of the many thing I love about working with Becky is that I’m continually learning and growing my skills along the way. She consistently takes care of doing the marketing things I don’t have time for but also teaches me along the way how to keep growing my marketing skills and be more efficient at it. Just like my clients who continue to practice and improve their Pilates practice, I am able to continue improving my marketing skills every step of the way!
If you are an instructor or studio owner trying to figure out this marketing thing, don’t be discouraged! There are a ton of great resources out there to help you out along the way. My best advice is to dive in and start learning and practicing!