Personal trainer

Marketing 101 for Trainers Part 2 - May 28, 2014

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Marketing 101 for Trainers, Part 2 - where Lynda Lippin will teach you how to attract, expand, and maintain your high-end client base.

The easiest way to earn a living doing any form of personal training is to have high income, high paying clients. The more you earn per hour, the fewer hours you need to work to make a comfortable living and the more you can have a life outside of the gym or studio.

But as I talk to my colleagues, I realize that so many trainers are scared to ask for more. So I asked myself,

"What skill sets must trainers have in order to be comfortable and happy asking for high fees and delivering the service and results that justify those fees?"

You know, I didn't always have all of these skills. I learned by trial and error (mostly by error).

But you don't have to struggle! You can learn from my mistakes.

I now train clients less than 35 hours per week. 32 of those hours are filled with recurring, standing appointments so I am able to actually do financial projections and budgets. Whether they are Real Pilates clients or my own privates, these clients pay well over $100 per hour for my time and are happy to have the opportunity. When someone lets go of a recurring time, it is typically filled within 48 hours.

Did I mention that I no longer work weekends? That I travel very little between studios? That I teach only one class, and that is for fun because I have people who would snag that as a recurring private in a second? And I only work three evenings (T, W, Th) per week?

Most importantly, I love my work and my clients again!

In this 90 minute Marketing 101 for Trainers workshop at Real Pilates in Tribeca, we will explore how to set yourself up to attract, expand, and/or maintain your very own high-end client base.

Episode 2 - Expanding and Maintaining Your High End Client Base Wednesday, May 28, 3:00 – 4:30pm $45 What do you as a trainer need to know about attracting great clients? In this workshop Lynda will share her secrets that keep her steadily busy in a city full of trainers who cost a lot less. Learn which skills are crucial, how to do more with less, and be adaptable while maintaining strong personal integrity.

Real Pilates, 177 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013, (212) 625-0777

If this is your first time visiting Real Pilates, use code LLGIFT at checkout, and you will receive a lovely welcome gift when you check in!

Sign up for Marketing 101 for Trainers Part 2 - Expanding and Maintaining Your High-End Client Base.

Why I Am Not A Celebrity Trainer

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I am not a celebrity trainer.

I may be well known, command fees of well over $100 per hour, and train celebrities.

But I would rather be the help.

As many of you know, hubby and I have had several major life changes in the past decade. We sold everything and moved to the Caribbean island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos in 2005, then over to the tiny, A-list resort island of Parrot Cay in 2007, and then to the very big island of Manhattan in 2011. Where were we before TCI? On the Main Line of Philadelphia, living a life that we created, but realized that we didn't want.

IMG00021.jpgI turn 48 in just a few months, and am thinking back to where I thought I would be and what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life.

Generally, I knew I would be teaching something (since I do that well) and hoped to be in a major metropolitan area. Oh, and I was sure to have cats.

Just typing this is funny, because life turns out so differently.

Now I find that while I have general ideas about my likes and dislikes, I have stopped major life planning beyond how much money I would like to earn in order to live well, and where I want to live. And I am always open to changes in these depending on situation. Living well in NYC, for example, costs more than living well at Parrot Cay.

NYBG.jpgIn the course of this move I have had to do lots of introductions and lots of profile changes. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, professional forums, directories, and bio boxes are everywhere and they all always need updating.

This is causing a small crisis as I attempt to redefine myself.

Who am I?

I am a Pilates teacher, a fitness trainer, a writer, a mom and grandmom; I am a gourmand who loves pizza and Five Guys burgers as much as caviar, and a clean freak who hates to actually clean. I am actively and openly Jewish, I appreciate Buddhism, and I cannot stand religious zealots of any kind (even though I believe in something unidentifiable, I lean towards atheism); and once a philosopher always a philosopher, as I spent over a decade of my life teaching and studying western philosophy.

I love to stay up late and sleep late (which people don't always know with my current schedule that starts at 7-7:30am), love dogs as much as cats, identify as a liberal, and truly believe that we are witnessing what Plato meant in The Republic when he said that democracy would devolve into rule by the lowest common denominator.

Oh, and I am a Usui Reiki Master teacher who practices and teaches energy channeling even though I am not always sure what it is that I am doing (I do it because Reiki actually works).

So who does this make me?

Titles bother me. I hate the phrase "celebrity trainer" even though I do train plenty of celebrities. I don't like the phrase "reiki master healer" even though that is the official title on my certificate. Plus people do feel and sleep better with my reiki treatments and my students all successfully practice reiki on themselves and others.

I actually like the phrase "service worker." I like being the help. I am lucky enough to choose to live my life and earn my living in service to others (and hopefully myself as well). Never denigrate service workers — all of us behind the scenes people who keep people and places going.

You like a clean subway seat? Thank the people cleaning. You like having dinner served on clean plates at a restaurant? Thank the dishwasher before you thank the chef. Had a great workout? Thank the trainer.

When did chefs, personal trainers, and hair stylists become celebrities? If you get paid to provide a service, whether it's deciding what's for dinner and cooking food for your customers, cutting and styling someone's hair, or helping someone look and feel great, you are the help. You are in service.

My name is Lynda Lippin, and I am the help.

Marketing 101 for Trainers Part 1 - April 30, 2014

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Marketing 101 for Trainers is a 3-part workshop series led by Lynda Lippin that will teach you how to increase your value in a very crowded fitness marketplace.

The pilates and fitness market has enjoyed unprecedented growth over the past decade, which is a wonderful thing!
But now, as trainers, we are facing more competition within our industry. And with clearer certification pathways, there are more certified trainers on the market now than ever.
  • How can you distinguish yourself in this crowded marketplace?
  • How can you make more money, increase your quality client base, and shine in your field?
  • Have you dreamed about working overseas?
  • Wonder what skill set you need to have to land a great job inside or outside of the US?
  • And finally, have you ever wondered how to attract and maintain steady, standing, high income clients?

Learn how in this 3 part Workshop series, where each month at Real Pilates Lynda will take on an important aspect of business and marketing for personal trainers and pilates teachers.

If this is your first time visiting Real Pilates, use code LLGIFT at checkout and you will receive a lovely welcome gift when you check in!

Episode 1 - Teaching Out of Your Comfort Zone
Wednesday, April 30, 3:00 – 4:30pm
There is a lot of call for trainers who will travel. This travel can be domestic or international, and includes subbing in other studios or in hotels/resorts, making outcalls of any kind (to hotels, private homes, or to train ann entire family), picking up traveling clients or short-term residents, and traveling with a client.  We will also discuss how to find overseas positions, including issues regarding work visas, relocation, temp work, and the dangers of “working fitness vacations”.

Review - The Firm Zip Trainer

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My Review of The Firm Zip Trainer

The Firm Zip Trainer is a good exercise tool. I wish the videos were better.

3/5 Stars

I am not quite sure how the Firm videos have been so popular for so long. This is the second firm equipment/video set I have received, and both had really badly done videos.

The workouts are quick and the instructors are way too perky. The instructors are good, and I suppose motivating for some people, but I don't do well with people who are way too happy and perky.

The Firm Zip Trainer is a ball made of high density foam that unzips to act as a "Step" and balance trainer, and holds a weighted ball in the center. The Zip Trainer alone weighs around 5 pounds, and it comes with a 3 pound ball that can be used separately, or placed in the center of the Zip trainer to add more weight (a 7 pound ball is sold separately).

The Zip trainer can be used like a large medicine ball, held, pressed, stretched on, stepped on, and balanced on.

the firm zip trainer

I love the Zip trainer itself, and have actually incorporated it into my Pilates mat workouts, like a weighted magic circle. I use it to add challenge to my bridging, planking, and ab exercises.

Regarding the videos, you do get a decent number of workouts, but I find the Firm workouts to be too fast and friendly for me.

If you exercise at home and are looking for an inexpensive tool to give you a bit more variety and resistance, this a great tool. If you already love the Firm workouts, you will also love these.

Five Coaching Mistakes Every New Trainer Makes

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There are Five Coaching Mistakes That Every New Trainer Makes

In yesterday's post on Marketing 101, I mentioned my friend Dax Moy, the highest paid trainer in the UK for very good reason.

In dealing with his own PTSD after surviving the tsunami in Thailand, Dax realized that many of the ways he (and everyone else) was coaching clients, including how he talks to them and how he frames questions, were actually making things harder for them.

So instead of fighting with non-compliant clients, instead of stressing then out and making them feel threatened by yelling at them, giving them ultimatums, pushing too hard, and expecting way too much, Dax started really listening to his clients and approaching them from a different place.

A place of support, understanding, and healing.

Do you make these five coaching mistakes?

Does your trainer or coach make them?

There is a better way!

httpv://youtu.be/iLhCypAuo7g

Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers

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Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers is much needed education that you won't learn in the gym or in your certification course.

One thing I never learned in any my fitness or pilates certifications was how to market myself and my services.

Seriously.

I learned how to teach and perform exercises, safety consideration, etc. But nothing on how sell this knowledge.

And things are even harder now, since there are so many more trainers and pilates teachers on the market right now.

To make things worse, most of the entrepreneurs who want to help trainers market know nothing about our business or our needs.

Now, I am lucky at this point to be in a rarified level of trainer where my clients consistently and happily pay $125-$250 an hour for my services. I rarely discount deeply (maybe 5-10%). And I am full with a waiting list for standing appointments.

And the fitness professionals that I learn from are all at my level. One of my favorites is Dax Moy, whose Fitness Marketing Made Simple FB group is one of the most brilliant forums for learning and coaching that I have seen.

We don't screw around with discount sites and selling. We just do what we do very, very, very well and give our clients consistent results.

Yes, that's right - we give our clients consistent results.

We don't lie to them, we don't sugar coat, but we also respect our clients. We get to know where to push them, when to coddle them, and what results they are looking for.

And when they need help that we can't give, we refer them to people we know can help.

Marketing 101 for Personal Trainers begins with knowing your skills and being solid in them and knowing your clients and how you can help them.

Note that I use the word "help" and not the word "fix".

No matter how much we get paid, we are helpers.

So, what are your best skills and how do you help others? Once you identify this, you can think about how to market.

Beginner Core Exercises - Safe, Simple, Effective

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Beginner Core Exercises should be simple, single plane movements that are safe, simple, and effective.

Unfortunately, that is not always what you will find in much of our online and print media in the era of insane and extreme exercise and fitness.

You might already know, if you are a regular reader of this blog or know me from elsewhere, that as a Pilates and Fitness trainer I specialize in working with people in pain. Most of my clients have lower back pain due to disc herniations, spinal fusions, severe scolioisis, and stenosis. And many have been hurt by other trainers.

Were these fitness and pilates trainers bad or unqualified? Absolutely not!

Did these trainers feel the need to keep upping the ante by making things always more intense and complex? Why, yes!

Surprisingly, other than a few modifications, my approach to all of my clients is similar. I look to stabilize the torso first, only working on small bits of flexibility as needed to strengthen the stabilizers. Once I see the stability happening, which means the stabilizing muscles are working, I then work a bit more with mobility as needed and tolerated.

This is how Joseph Pilates presented his system of exercises, so I am not going outside of classical Pilates here. And this is how I approach all exercises, even TRX and kettlebell training.

So I decided to do a general overview of what was out there for beginner core exercises, starting with a basic Google search.

And generally I found complex exercises that require a good spotter, or great exercises presented in more advanced forms, instead of the most simple and safe.

Why? Because trainers feel the push towards more extreme workouts. Clients are back into beating ourselves up in the gym, or at the barre or bootcamp, or even at home with our insane dvds.

Beginner exercises should be simple, but extremely intense and effective, so a person can quickly progress to more fun and exciting complex and intense movements.

Here is what I give many of my clients for Basic Core Exercises. All of these are easy to do at home and all are present somewhere in Pilates.

https://youtu.be/xHxPn9b9gIs

Note that these exercises start very simply and close to the ground, but when you do them correctly you shake and sweat and have a pretty intense experience.

You start always with short levers - knees bent and elbows bent and work on maintaining torso stability and getting all of your core muscles to work together to keep your parts steady. When that is easy, progress to longer levers, and even to fewer levers, but maintain the same stability.

Here is the explanation of a plank that I read this morning. Note there is no mention of modifications or variations, or is there any mention of the role of the abdominal muscles here. And if you fire your glutes without also using your abs, this will most likely hurt your back instead of helping it:

Push-up plank: A plank is an isometric core exercise that involves maintaining a strict, straight position for an extended period of time. I like to see my clients maintain a solid 30-second plank for three sets both front and side. This shows good core endurance and that the person is able to handle more advanced exercises.

How to do it: Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up. Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the bottom half of the body. Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at the floor about a foot in front of the hands. The head should be in line with the back. Hold the position for 20 seconds to start out.

As fitness and Pilates trainers, we need to be very careful with what we put out there for free public consumption - we need to focus on beginner core exercises that are safe, simple, and effective.