09 Oct What if nobody shows up? How to pack out your classes and build your business
Hey girlies, how are you and what’s going on in your world? I’m sitting here with my mum’s dog, Kenza, snuggling on my lap. She’s staring at me with her one eye. Bless her! She got attacked by another dog and got an infection, so her eye had to be removed. She’s a lovely dog. So calm and LOVES a cwtch. It’s great dog sitting her, but also nice to give her back – ha ha! Once she’s gone, I can spend time in the gym or going to class.
Which brings me to what I wanted to talk to you about in this blog. I’m starting a class on Monday, for the first time in two and a half years – can you cope!
Due to the pandemic. I’ve been dancing out of my kitchen for two years. Covid meant I had to pivot my business and learn about the digital world. The past year I’ve been working hard, developing our On Demand platform. The idea behind this came from that fluidity, grace and flow you’ll see in some dancers as they move from one move to the next.
It might look effortless, but there is A LOT of work the dancer must do behind the scenes to move like that. Strength, core strength, correct technique, flexibility, mobility exercises, correct posture, nutrition, consistency, self-love, and a vision. So, I’ve created a brand-new platform that has all of this, plus so much more. My hope that is that OnDemand will help women from all walks of life to dance with fluidity and have access to everything they need to achieve this. It’s so exciting. BUT it’s also taken up soooooo much of my time.
Going back to class:
I always said to myself that no matter how busy I get, or how big the business grows, I would never stop doing classes. And here I am, two and half years later, and I’ve not done a class in so long. If you don’t use it, you lose it. I never want to lose that social element, the feel-good factor, plus the fitness. So I’ve decided to set up a class again.
And guess what? You’re not going to believe this! I found myself thinking: ‘What if nobody shows up?’ That made me think, “If I thought this, I’m sure the girls have experienced it.” So I reflected and brained dumped everything I used to do to bring 50 women into class. God, I was relentless! I never stopped thinking about it. But as I’m sure you’re all aware, nothing comes easy. We have to step outside our comfort zone because that’s how we grow.
Saying no to negativity:
If you’re struggling to get your numbers up or if it’s all brand new, this is for you. You’re excited that you’ve passed the course. You’ve learnt all the routines. You want to share with other people how amazing Turn’d up Fitness makes you feel. But then you turn up to class and there’s nobody there. You can see all the other girls have packed classes and you feel deflated. It sucks. You feel sad. You feel like ‘What’s the point? It’s not worth it. I’m not making any money.’ You tell yourself that you’re rubbish.
If you feel like this, the first thing you must do is put the blockers on and not worry about what anybody else is doing. They were once in the exact same position as you. They don’t show you the work they do to bring those people in. All you see is the happy ending. And who knows, I bet they struggle with imposter syndrome too.
That negative voice in our head that stops us from doing the work required to bring people into our classes. We procrastinate. We don’t want to message people because we feel like we are bothering them. So we just turn up for class and hope for the best. It’s happened to me many times.
I want to share something with you:
The reason why I feared turning up to classes was because I knew deep down, I hadn’t done what it takes to get people to class. Unfortunately, 50 people don’t just walk through the door, as much as we want them to. We have to earn it.
Running fitness classes is not like running a coffee shop where people will just walk in. If you are serious about turning your fitness classes into a profitable business, then your best bet is to find a prime location and build up the community. Then you can work your own hours and pick a day and a time that suits you.
In this blog I’m going to be sharing all the strategies I used and still use if I am putting on an event or want a packed-out class all year long. It is sooooo much fun when you have 50 women behind you, all moving as one, whooping and woohing, sweating and smiling. It’s electric. It is some serious fitness magic. I’m sure every fitness instructor would agree. You reach another level of excitement.
Let’s just face it, all dance fitness teachers are performers at heart. We vibe off people. We love a little show off and an audience. We were born to dance. And what’s more amazing is that everybody in the room is having the time of their lives because of you. It’s SUCH a magnificent feeling.
How to build your girl gang:
I’ve written this blog to share loads of strategies that can help you build confidence and create and keep your girl gang, all year long. Some of us are good at marketing, and some of us suck. But I’m going to share with you all the strategies I use to fill up my classes and what I’ve trained 195 women to do, too.
The first thing you need to do is create a private Facebook group. Then invite people to the group who you think might be interested. Create an event on Facebook. Then invite your friends. Try messaging ten friends and ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing it. Most people have a few hundred friends on their Facebook and Instagram pages. It all adds up and you’ll soon have an audience of a few thousand people who will see your posts. Can you cope?
Set up a booking system of your choice. Eventbright/ Fatasoma/ Skiddle/ GoogleDrive are all good ones. Then create a targeted Facebook and Instagram ad that allows you to collect email addresses of people who might be interested. Here and here are two good YouTube links that explain how to do it. When writing the caption for your event, come up with a headline and an emotive short story about how TUF has changed your life and what you’re offering. I learned this from the Russell Brunson book: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movement of People Who Will Pay for Your Advice.
Creating social media content:
You need to have 3-4 engaging posts to go out each week. Authentic posts always work best. I love the ones that give us a little insight into people’s lives. Behind the scenes are great. Videos, Tik Toks and Reels always get the most engagement. I know they take a bit of time to create, but really every two to three posts should be a reel or video.
I always pencil a day in the diary so I can create enough video content to last me a month. I get my inspiration from ideas that just come to me, images I see and books I read. I’m influenced by how I am feeling and what I’ve been up to. With Tik Tok and Reels, sometimes I’ll look for a song that is trending and get creative ideas from that. I always have the person I would like to get my message across to in my mind. Gym goers, women who would like to build their self-confidence, or lose weight. People looking for something fun and uplifting, women thinking about becoming instructors. Busy professionals. Mums…
You can use Canva to create a bunch of posts using words you say in class, inspirational quotes, testimonials etc. if you don’t have the patience to figure out Canva, there’s an app called Fiver, where there are lots of people who specialise in graphic design. They can make you a bunch of images with your branding dirt cheap.
Being active on your Instagram stories is really important. But it’s no good looking at the viewers and thinking, “Ooh I’ve had 100 views. Check me out!”. You need to engage. Drop your viewers a message and say: “Thank you for watching my story. Have you ever tried one of our classes?” Get a conversation going. Running a fitness class is getting people fit but it’s also about building relationships. You could also be a bit cheeky when you share a post to your story by creating a friends list. Then it goes straight into their DMs, and you know they have definitely seen it then. Cheeky Sheeky 🙂
Planning your social:
Every Sunday I sit for an hour or two and plan my social media content. Then it’s all done, so in the week when I get busy, I don’t have to worry about it. Or if my period strikes and I feel off and definitely not in a creative mood, I’m like: Boom! I’ve got my content already.
You can use Apps like Hootsuite or Facebook to schedule posts in advance. I just do it manually. Recently I’ve been using Canva a lot more. I’ve made enough images to last me a couple of months. Canva is great because it allows me to stay on brand, and when people are scrolling its very eye-catching.
Having a bunch of relevant hashtags saved in your phone also makes life a little bit easier. Insta allows you to use 30 hashtags. Put three under the picture and 27 in the comments. Why not use them all?! I know social media is a bit daunting if you aren’t used to it, but it really is so powerful. Remember most people have their phones in their hands a lot of the day. Even my mum has a scroll during the EastEnders credits!
I remember when I first started using Instagram to promote Turn’d Up Fitness. I was so scared. I had to count backwards 54321 go before I posted and then sit there cringing! Now I’m on a roll. Once you get into it, momentum builds, and it doesn’t feel scary at all. I really enjoy content creation days, especially when I know my message is touching someone. You know the saying: ‘You can be the ripest peach in the world, but there will always be somebody who hates peaches. And that’s ok.” Remember that. And Blocka blocka block. Ha ha ha!
I could write a whole blog on social media, but if you spend some time planning and creating, you’ll get into the rhythm.
Carry business cards:
Wherever I go, I love to start conversations with people. I find other people really interesting. Once you’ve built a friendly relationship, let them know what you do, give them a card, and invite them to your class. Nothing beats talking face to face with someone. They can see how passionate you are. I’m sure they are going to love your class.
Be sure to follow them on Instagram. They may not come to class straight away, but they are going to see your post and one day they may show up.
I know they are dated but they do work. You could always flyer drop in your area, just put them through people’s letterboxes. Leave the flyers at the studio you are teaching in. Pop some into shop windows, Slimming World groups, bridal shops, nail and beauty salons and school fairs. Again, wherever you are it’s about building relationships, being inquisitive, being a good listener, and staying fun and positive.
These are brilliant! Get your speaker, grab your girls, and bust out some moves. You’ll soon stop the town and have people coming up to you and showing interest in your classes. It’s a great opportunity to give out flyers and meet new people.
Doing a collaboration with another influencer is a great way to showcase what you do. When I went to Bristol, nobody knew about Turn’d Up Fitness. Collaborating with Piloxercise was a great steppingstone for me. They were posting about me, I was posting about them, we both expanded our audience.
We’ve also built a nicely friendly relationship, where they will always be welcome into our community. Our girls love them, and I’m sure their community love us too. Collaboration over competition any day. You could always team teach with one of the most experienced instructors to give you a hand up. You know how the saying goes: “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!”
Let everyone in your area know about your class:
You could offer a free taster class. Use a boosted post on Instagram or Facebook to promote it. Have a set number in your mind of how many people you would like to attend. At the end of the class, do a little pitch, create an offer, like buy 5 classes get one free, or monthly subscription offers. Challenges. Buy one get one free. Bring a friend. Take some merch to sell. Be sure to add everyone who comes to your class to your Facebook group. Then make sure you are active in your Facebook group. Share tips, healthy recipes etc.
There’s a lot that goes into building your girl gang, but it’s soooo worth it:
It develops you as a person. You’re doing something you love, that is making a difference. Let’s just face it. You sell happiness. What a lovely gift.
Give 100 percent effort in your class, whether it’s one, or 51. The most powerful and effective marketing tool is word of mouth. If you make your class members feel amazing, they will 100 percent tell all their family and friends about it and bring them along to your class.
You’ve got this. Oh, and one more thing:
This is a neuro linguistic programming technique that does amazing things. You just need to think of a time when you were at your best, your absolute best. A proud moment in your life. Close your eyes and really think about it.
Mine was when I graduated from drama school. I felt proud. I felt supported. I felt excited. Happy. I knew good things were coming. I felt successful. I felt grateful. I felt clever. I felt loved. I felt like part of a team.
What is your most heightened moment? How did you feel?
Once you’ve thought of one write down how you felt, like this:
I am proud
I am supported
I am excited
Good things are coming
I am successful
I am clever
I am loved
I am part of a team
The words you’ve created these are powerful affirmations for you. I repeat mine morning noon and night. It stops any self-doubt creeping in. I learned this from The Answer by John Assaraf. If you haven’t read this book, I would highly recommend it. I read it 5 years ago and I still use all the techniques from it to this day.
So, there we have it, all my secrets on growing your girl gang and packing out your classes. Give them a try and I guarantee, you’ll be a sell out in no time! Let me know how you get on in the comments, I’d love to know.