When FitPro Email Marketing Fails

When FitPro Email Marketing Fails the results can be very funny, but bad for business.

This morning I received an email from someone representing a new app to help Fitness Professionals. Too bad the email was completely off.

This iOS app may be awesome for FitPros who are having a hard time tracking their clients. It is inexpensive and sounds robust, which is why I left a live link in this post. For a crazy busy trainer with too much too keep track of, this app may be the perfect solution.

But even if I used iOS, this email would have been enough to turn me off. Welcome to When FitPro Email Marketing Fails.

1. The Email

Hello Lippin,

I came across your profile at ideafit.com and found your website http://www.pilatesandreiki.com. I see that you are an experienced fitness professional.

For over a year, I and my team have been developing 52C — a new online tool for Personal Trainers. Many great PTs like yourself have advised us and helped us make it a real time saver when it comes to collecting clients’ progress data and planning workout sessions.

Now the app is ready: 52challenges.com

Would you like to test it out free for 14 days?


Best regards,
xxx Patxxx, Content Manager

2. My Reply

Hi Patxxx,

I am somewhat confused by this email.

First, you address me as “Lippin”. which is why I addressed you as “Patxxx”. I assume last name only is how things go at 52challenges? Very military-like of you.

Second, if you looked at my website and my ideafit profile, you would see that I have no problems tracking clients. I am organized, have a great memory, and as a former philosophy professor I have a wonderful attention to detail.

Third, while your email sounds like you are making me a special 14 day free offer, I notice when I click the link that the 14 day trial is open to any fitness pro. So why bother emailing me directly and making this sound like a special offer?

I am not interested, and couldn’t even use your app as it is only for iOS and I don’t use apple portable devices.

So, thank you for giving me a laugh this morning and some fodder for my next blog post – FitPro Marketing Email Fail.

Best,

LL

3. The Marketing Lessons

The takeaway for marketers is pretty clear and starts with the basics of proofreading your form email before hitting send, and knowing your audience.

Presentation alone can turn a potential customer away. I can’t say this often enough – make sure you take the time to proofread and edit.

You have one shot at this opening email. Make it a great one!


Book Review – What You Can When You Can #wycwyc

Book Review – What You Can When You Can – Healthy Living on Your Terms by Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone #wycwyc

5/5 Stars

I am amazed every day by the women I know. And with thousands of social media and blogging buddies, my circle has expanded greatly.

Carla Birnberg and I met originally on Twitter, while I was still teaching at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos and she was still writing as MizFit, who blogged and wrote about fitness and weight loss after losing and maintaining the loss of 35 pounds while starting a family and a business (MizFit: How to Build Muscle and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind).

We stayed connected ever since, and I have even written guest posts for her blog. I have always appreciated her snarky, yet positive attitude towards life. And over the past year, as I have gotten busier, I have come to appreciate her “what you can, when you can” approach to fitness, health, and just about everything.

She calls it #wycwyc (pronounced wick-wick). And the #wycwyc tag is already very active on social media. A community of women doing what they can when they can, and feeling better for it. A Google search produced over 6000 results, and you can buy #wycwyc merchandise at the online store.

Carla and her friend Roni Noone, also a mom and blogger with a fabulous weight loss story, have finally written a clear and concise guide to life, health, and happiness for all of us busy women, What You Can When You Can – Healthy Living On Your Own Terms.

They sent me a free pre-publication draft to read and review. I couldn’t wait to read it!

As a MindMAP Coach, I steer very clear of any coaching or self-help materials that use radical change, threats, and judgements to motivate people. All that does is cause us to feel overwhelmed and panic, which sends us into fight, flight, or freeze mode, none of which allow us to learn and truly transform.

Even as a Pilates teacher and trainer, I meet my clients where they are on any given day, not where they “should” be. Instead of giving them more stuff to read and do, I try to simplify things.

And that is exactly what Carla and Roni do in this book!

What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms promotes small, easy, flexible shifts that will help you add activity, healthy food, and fun to your days without crazy stress. With chapter headings like, “Accept Perfect is Never Coming,” “Stop Musturbating,” and “Even If You Can, Don’t!” What you Can When You Can gives us ways to approach life without judgement and guilt.

It is an easy, quick read (I read it in an evening) that is packed full of useful tidbits. Follow even a small fraction of their advice and I can guarantee you will be feeling better. Each chapter ends with a #wycwyc activity to help build a community of support.

Pre-order What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms today! It will be available on April 28, 2015.

Setting Pilates Prices – The Double and a Half Rule

When you are setting Pilates prices, remember Seth Godin’s Double and a Half Rule.

For some reason, Fitness professionals and Pilates teachers tend to not see themselves as professional freelance workers.

Silly, really.

If you work as an independent contractor, then you are by definition a freelancer. And there are some consideration you need to make before setting your Pilates prices.

As a freelancer you need to be concerned with paying your personal expenses as well as business-related expenses such as self-employment or corporate taxes, studio rent, and insurance.

You also must market and do self-development and continuing education to stay at the top of your game.

This morning I woke up to a brilliant blog post by Seth Godin, who sets an easy to follow rule about how to set your prices.

Successful freelancers need to charge at least double the hourly rate that they’d be happy earning doing full time work. (In many fields, it’s more like 4 or 5x).

And they need to spend at least half their time getting better at their craft (and helping the market understand and appreciate what they do).

Your mileage may vary, but one sure route to becoming an unhappy freelancer is charging just enough and hoping that the low price will keep you busy all the time.

If you have been reading my blog and following my social media discussions, you know that I firmly believe that Pilates teachers and Fitpros charge way too little for what we do, leading many teachers to leave the field due to overwork.

A great Pilates teacher whom I know well just stepped out of the Pilates business to do pharmaceutical sales to make more money.

This doesn’t need to happen.

Remember the Double and a Half rule.

Start charging enough to be a better and more productive Pilates teacher. You will be happy you did (and so will your clients)!

How to Define Value in the Pilates Business

How to Define Value in the Pilates Business

Are your clients happy to pay you? Are you making enough money to meet your needs and wants? What is your “Wow” factor?

I am active in many Facebook groups devoted to Pilates and Fitness teaching and marketing. At least once a month someone asks about what successful teachers, trainers, or owners add to their businesses to make them more valuable in the eyes of potential clients and customers.

My answer is always the same.

You must be the Wow factor of your Pilates business. You must be the value!

This answer seems to bother people. I have been told that I am “ripping people off” by charging a lot for my services. I have been told that there is no way people would gladly pay that much for Pilates unless there is a bunch of stuff added to the offerings.

Other trainers and teachers always ask me what else I offer.

Surely there must be extra groups, emails, meetings? Surely I must offer gifts, bonuses, and other add-ons?

Nope!

I offer me.

And I spend time focusing on how I can make a better me, since I am the value that I offer to my clients.

You see, it is the client who defines value. Let me repeat, it is the client who defines value!

So I spend my money and time on taking great Pilates sessions, on learning from people who know at least as much, if not much more, than I do. I also spend time and money adding to my toolbox – kettlebells and TRX for more resistance training? I got that. Some simple neuroscience based MindMAP coaching? I can do that. Some Reiki to keep you calm and feeling better? No problem!

From my end I promise to be on time, to be responsible, to never harm anyone, and to continually strive to help my clients feel, function, and live better.

Not only do my clients feel, function, and live better, they are happy to pay for their sessions. Not once has anyone looked at me and said, “So Lynda, what else can you give me for this money?”

Not once!

Getting back to your situation, what is your client response? If they bargain, hem and haw, and otherwise show reluctance to pay for your services, that means they are not perceiving value.

That doesn’t mean that you and your skills aren’t valuable. But it does mean that your clients aren’t seeing it.

How to define your value?

Look at things and services in your life where you are willing to pay more money. Better hotels, leather goods, wines, massage therapists, facials? Better medical care, grocery selection, dinner service?

Where you are willing to pay more? What differentiates that experience? What makes it better and more valuable, even though it is more expensive?

Now, apply that definition to yourself and your Pilates business.

Lissa Rankin on The Fear Cure

Q&A with Lissa Rankin on The Fear Cure

As a newly certified MindMap Coach, I am all too aware of the effect fear has on the human brain. Fear puts us back into our reptilian and old mammalian brains, looking for comfort and safety. We become “irrational” because we are not able to access our frontal lobes, where our creativity and forward thinking live.

So Lissa Rankin’s The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul speaks to me, as it addresses Fear directly, turning it into a tool that we can use to identify the areas of our lives that need healing.

Q: What inspired you to write The Fear Cure?

A: When I was writing Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself I kept coming across loads of scientific data proving that fear was not only an uncomfortable emotion that keeps us from living up to our full potential; it’s also a significant risk factor for heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, chronic pain disorders, inflammatory disorders, even the common cold. In fact, fear may be a greater risk factor for your health than what you eat, how much you exercise, or any of your bad habits. But when was the last time your doctor wrote a prescription that said, “Get a handle on your fear”?

I also had a post-publishing epiphany in the wake of the success of Mind Over Medicine. I realized that it’s all well and good to teach the 6 Steps to Healing Yourself, to invite people to do the deep transformational work that makes the body ripe for miracles and facilitates “spontaneous” remissions. But even if people are intuitive enough to tune into what their bodies need in order to heal, and even if they’re wise enough to write The Prescription for themselves, way too often, fear gets in the way. You may know what needs to change in your life, but if you’re not courageous enough to act upon your inner guidance, you’re likely to stay sick—and stuck. That’s when I realized (with a gulp) that I needed to write a book about fear and courage.

Q: We live in such a fear-based culture, but so many people are in denial of how fear is running their lives? Why is that?

A: Most people in our culture are riddled with fear, and it’s running the show in our lives, taking the wheel in most of our decision-making. But the funny thing is, we don’t even know it. This is partly because, in our culture, we tend to dress up “fear” in the more socially acceptable clothes of “stress.” And stress— well, hell— stress is practically a badge of success in our culture! We’ve been taught to think that fear is for sissies. We see it as a weakness, something we should hide from others and deal with alone in dark nights of the soul. But fear is not something that should elicit shame or stay hidden. Now more than ever, our fears need to shamelessly take center stage so we can let fear illuminate everything that is in need of healing in our lives and finally be free. Physical therapist Val Zajicek says PAIN means Pay Attention Inside Now. I think fear is like pain. It’s an emotional and physical signal alerting to you to Pay Attention Inside Now. Rather than running away from it, we need to examine it and let it heal us.

Q: So what is The Fear Cure?

A: The book title is kind of a misnomer because it implies that fear is something we should cure, like Ebola or cancer. But really it’s all about letting fear cure YOU. Fear can be your friend. When you’re getting chased by a tiger, fear is there to save your life. But most of the time, our fears aren’t survival-related fears. The dangers exist only in our imagination. So The Fear Cure is all about letting fear point the finger at everything in need of healing in your life.

The Fear Cure is about coming into right relationship with uncertainty. At the root of most fears lies a fear of uncertainty. So coming into right relationship with fear is all about coming into right relationship with uncertainty. The tendency to avoid uncertainty is rampant in our culture. Uncertainty is flat out un-American. If we’re honest with ourselves, avoiding uncertainty is the goal of 90% of our choices. The search for certainty is an addiction, and it’s deeply related to the pursuit of comfort. We’ve been programmed since childhood to believe that if you’re successful, you have comforts—big homes, good food, nice cars, a big nest egg for retirement. But what if we’ve been sold a booby prize? What if living a meaningful, fulfilling life is about recognizing that there is something beyond comfort and certainty? What if uncertainty is actually a gateway to possibility, and if we avoid it, we avoid something precious?

When we make peace with uncertainty, we realize that when we don’t know what the future holds, anything could happen. An angel could appear. A relationship you long ago gave up on could be healed. The cancer could be cured. A miracle might happen. Fear could disappear in one exhale. When we cling to certainty, we limit ourselves, but if we’re willing to venture bravely into an uncertain future, the doorway to mystery, wonder, and awe flings open. What lies on the other side of the doorway invites you to explore. When you don’t know what you’ll find, you might be surprised to find that the uncertain is even more wonderful than that which seems certain. Whatever might come next is an exciting adventure once you’re no longer afraid of that which you don’t know.

Q: Letting fear cure you can be hard work. Why should we bother?

A: Because on the other side of this journey lies FREEDOM. Not just happiness, which can feel kind of conditional, but real freedom. When fear no longer runs your life, when you’ve allowed Something Larger to run you, when love and soul-based courage are making your choices instead, your joy is no longer conditional on getting what your ego wants. You only want what the Divine wants for you, and you’re no longer attached to getting what you want, which means you’re no longer afraid of what is uncertain—in fact, the uncertain is almost seductive. You’re also not afraid of what you might lose, because you’re willing to lose it if that’s what is in alignment with your soul curriculum. When you’re no longer afraid of uncertainty or loss, a whole new world opens up to you, and life becomes quite magical, even miraculous.

Q: You sound like you’re speaking from personal experience. Can you tell us what you’ve learned from your own journey with fear?

A: Oh my. I just wrote a whole book about the miracles and magic I’ve experienced on this journey. It’s kind of a hybrid—a spiritual self-help book dressed up as a memoir—called The Anatomy Of A Calling, and it will be published by Rodale Press in December, 2015. I’ll tell you just one of many examples that demonstrates what is possible when you’re no longer letting fear run your life.

Back in 2012, during one of many periods of spiritual intensity (I call them the “quickenings,”) I could sense that some sort of spiritual guidance was trying to come through me, but I wasn’t getting the message. This is often my sign that it’s time to get quiet and make space for guidance to come through. So I took two days off and went to Esalen Institute. The minute I got in the car, I started getting messages from my spirit guide Sebastian. (I know. I know. This is where the doctor in me starts to realize I’m sounding like a loon.) Anyway, when I got to Esalen, Sebastian told me to sit down at my computer and take dictation in order to draft up an email. So I did. I wrote down word for word what I was told, all the while wondering if I was making all this up, even though it didn’t feel like it was coming from my own brain. The email was titled “Calling all visionary physicians.”

I was like, “Okay, so what’s this for? Am I supposed to send out this email?” Sebastian said, “Await further instructions.” Great, I thought, shaking my head. I’m supposed to channel some email to doctors but then do nothing about it.

A week later, I was telling this story to Martha Beck, with whom I was teaching a program called Find Your Calling (you can listen to our free Find Your Calling call here). Martha asked if I would read her the email Sebastian had dictated, and when I did, she started excitedly telling me that I was supposed to bring a group of doctors to her ranch, that we would do equine therapy with them and run a “Heal The Healers” program together. She started spouting off dates and hotel details, telling me she could already see the doctors at her ranch as if they were already there.
I was on the other end of the phone crying, in shock and awe and gratitude.

That’s how the Whole Health Medicine Institute was born. We’re now in our third year of training doctors and other health care providers about how to be true healers amidst a system that doesn’t easily support their callings to pure service. I had been dancing around my purpose, confused about how or if I should be involved in medicine at all. And Martha had been questioning why she had bought this crazy horse ranch when she didn’t even own horses. I never would have had the courage to start a school if the guidance hadn’t been so obvious and Martha hadn’t promised to help me. It all felt so purposeful and I felt so loved. It was just one of many miracles that guided me, once I started trusting something other than my fear to help me make my decisions.

Q: Do you have one final tool people can use to help them free themselves from fear?

A: Sure. It helps to learn how to discern between “true fear” and “false fear.” There are true fears meant to elicit protective action, and there are false fears meant to alert us to Pay Attention Inside Now. True fears are a call to action and should not be ignored, while false fears exist only in our imagination and are best used as fuel for personal and spiritual growth. But we won’t be free in life if false fears are ruling our decisions.

Once we can discern the difference, we can let true fears protect us in the way they’re meant to, while we learn to let false fears transform us—without ruling our decision-making. Sometimes true fear shows up as a “fight-or-flight” stress response when you’re in danger, as a signal that says, “RUN!” But sometimes it shows up more subtly—as intuition. So how can you tell whether a scary thought is intuition or a false fear you’re better off ignoring? The Fear Cure has lots of tools to help you discern the difference. But one way to tell is that intuition tends to feel very calm. It doesn’t feel like a panicky, paranoid thought. It’s simply a grounded, inner knowing that says, “Don’t leave your child with this babysitter.” You can tell the difference by paying attention to how your body responds when you get sensitive enough to read the cues. Once you do, your body compass can guide your safe, wise decision-making, and this gives you the courage to say yes or no, based on true, trustworthy guidance, rather than fear.

For more free tools to help you come into right relationship with fear, you can download the Prescription for Courage Kit at TheFearCureBook.com.

Beautiful Bloominous DIY Flower Arrangements

Bloominous offers DIY Flower Arrangements that are beautiful, easy to put together, and affordable.

Bloominous calls itself “the IKEA of flowers.” In the same way that IKEA offers beautiful DIY furniture options that are much less expensive than the already constructed versions, Bloominous offer beautiful DIY flower arrangements for weddings and events at a much lower price than traditional florists.

Bloominous founder Richard, who worked for a major florist, explains,

The idea for Bloominous began a few months before our wedding on November 2012. My wife and I were working with a fairly average wedding budget. Among the many expenses in this budget were flowers for the ceremony and reception. At the time I was a General Manager at one of the largest companies in the floral industry, and had a good sense of how much flowers should cost. I was expecting $500-$1,000 to be a reasonable budget for flowers. To my dismay, the florists we visited all quoted between $2,000 and $4,000 for their arrangements.

Many brides, including Richard’s, turn to DIY to save costs, but the process of researching, purchasing, and arranging florals often end up causing more stress and dollars. Recognizing this problem, they launched Bloominous in 2014 to give brides an alternative option for DIY wedding flowers.

What are the advantages? Cost saving, easy DIY, and beautiful arrangements. What’s not to like?

  • With Bloominous, brides will be able to save anywhere from 30% to 50% off their original floral budget.
  • Most DIY floral services do not send ‘prepped’ flowers, but Bloominous flowers come cut-to-order, dethorned, and trimmed, so you save time AND money.
  • Each kit comes with step-by-step photo instructions for easy assembling within 10 to 20 minutes per piece, as well as flower care products and design tips.
  • All collections featuring specialty flowers are designed by a florist with over 10 years of experience in event and floral design.
  • It’s not just the flowers—from trends to vases to favors, they will design the whole look for your inspiration. See some Bloominous collections here.

Bloominous is making DIY fun, easy, and approachable for anyone who wants to try.  Here is a Bloominous video on DIY Party Centerpieces – enjoy!

Follow Bloominous on Twitter and check out Bloominous on Instagram.

(a sponsored post)

Revitalize Your Health With The Fear Cure

In The Fear Cure, Lissa Rankin, MD helps you cure your fear, anxiety, and worry and revitalize your health in the process.

Imagine if everyone—our politicians, our bankers, the oil companies, our doctors, our lawyers, our teachers, all the parents of the world, and YOU—actually made decisions from love and not fear. Imagine if we believed that we don’t need to avoid uncertainty and loss, that everything that happens, even the painful things, happens with purpose, and that we are all interconnected through a web of love, that we are not separate from each other, that each act of violence against humanity and nature violates ourselves.

We all know that fear, anxiety, and worry limit our potential, harm our relationships, affect our ability to thrive financially, and hold us back from fulfilling our life purpose. But did you know fear also causes heart disease, cancer, and the common cold? In The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul, my friend Lissa Rankin, MD shares with you the scientific data proving that fear isn’t just an uncomfortable emotion that limits your ability to fully step into your purpose in what poet Mary Oliver calls “this one wild and precious life.” Fear is also a significant risk factor for disease.

But don’t worry! This book is not meant to scare you more. In fact, it’s filled with hope, inspiration, and practical prescriptions for ramping up your courage and milking your fear for all it’s worth so you can let fear cure YOU.

How to Cultivate Courage

The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul includes a number of Courage-Cultivating Exercises meant to help you do your part in curing fear and shifting consciousness on the planet, including:

  • How to learn what your fears can teach you
  • A meditation intended to help you stay focused on the present moment
  • How to tell the difference between the frightened voice of your “Small Self” and the brave, wise voice of your “Inner Pilot Light”
  • A map to help you know where you are on your journey from fear to freedom, as well as tips to help you in the stage you’re in
  • Tools to help you “bench press” your uncertainty muscles
  • A powerful practice meant to comfort your “Small Self” so your Inner Pilot Light can take the lead in your life and drive your decisions
  • An exercise to move you beyond your victim story into a state of gratitude for the lessons loss can teach you
  • Tips to help you gather evidence that it’s not a hostile universe; it’s a purposeful universe conspiring to support you
  • A Tibetan practice meant to turbo boost your compassion
  • An exercise to help enlighten you through every way you judge other people
  • Detailed instructions on how to navigate “The 6 Steps To Cultivating Courage”
  • How to illuminate the fear-inducing patterns you may have inherited from your ancestors
  • Practical advice on how to shift from pessimism to optimism
  • A priceless tool to help you question your fearful thoughts to discern whether they’re “true fears” or “false fears”
  • How to stop caring what “everybody” thinks
  • Instructions on how to find a courage-cultivating mentor
  • Tips for strengthening your intuition and hearing the voice of your “Inner Pilot Light” more clearly
  • Diagnostic tools for making your own Fear Diagnosis
  • How to write your own “Prescription For Courage”
  • A 9 step practice to help you offer your problems and desires to the Divine, and how to interpret the spiritual guidance that arises when you do
  • 13 tips for shifting beliefs
  • 7 steps to creating your soul community

Wake Up to Your Purpose

Beware. This book is likely to infect you with “pronoia,” the opposite of “paranoia.” Pronoia is the belief that everything in the universe is conspiring to support you. What if you developed a raging case of pronoia? Who might you be and what might you do if you knew that you are infinitely safe and that everything in the Universe is conspiring to support you, that we are all interconnected in a web of love, and that you are being called to play your role in the awakening of consciousness on the planet? What cosmic purpose might be awaiting you right now?

Afraid to find out? I dare you to leap into your true nature and allow yourself to be used in service to that which wants to be born in the world through you.

Order The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage as Medicine for the Body, Mind, and Soul now. And look for my review and a Q and A with Lissa coming soon!