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  • Instructor Newsletter 5th September 2013

    Martina Feb2009 265The Children are back and parents are slowly getting back into the Autumn swing, so I hope you are all set for next week. Thanks for all of your comments and feedback regarding my article on advertising on social media and judging by all of the pages I’ve been invited to join, hundreds of you are now setting up new Facebook Pages as your main Facebook platform to spring board all of your new content, videos, pictures and marketing. Keep it consistent and constantly high quality and you won’t go far wrong. We have some wonderful contributions this week from Jill Gardner, who has been a regular writer in the #C2GO newsletter. Jill has experienced some of life’s challenges recently and her pieces demonstrates this. Cori has also written a heartfelt article this week and I do think it’s helpful sometimes to share with other Fitpros your feelings, as I am sure we have all felt like this at some point in our careers. Zoe is also back with a helpful article for new Instructors   and Kelly contributes her regular Fitness Pilates piece, so all in all another action packed edition. As always, please feedback to us all or me via Twitter @RachelHolmes, and Instagram RachelLHolmes.

    Consumers Shop with their Eyes by Rachel

    I have no idea where I picked this up or heard it but the statement is so amazingly true and even more so when marketing yourself, brand and sessions on social media. When you are cruising down your Facebook and Twitter feeds the items that often get your attention are pictures, so make sure you are using great images and pictures on your Facebook Pages. There are some perfect apps which you can add your text onto your photos and create your own quotes and advertisements in seconds. I love Phonto and I use Picstich and Instacollage to put all my photos together, add text and create interesting pics for my Facebook and Instagram. They ALWAYs get a lot of attention as people do get bored with just seeing the same old status updates. Why don’t you put some fun pics and quotes together today for your social media.

    Photos on Facebook generate 53% more likes than the average post, and posts with more likes increase your engagement. This is important because as your engagement increases, Facebook puts you into the News Feed more often so that more of your fans see you, which ultimately leads to more people reading your posts.

    How to Get More Likes on Your Facebook Page

    Why are Facebook fans important?  Well there are a few reasons.  First, when you grow a big community of loyal fans on Facebook, your chances of getting seen and heard inside Facebook increase.  It’s really just a numbers game.
    The more fans you have talking about you, liking your posts and sharing your content, the more often people on Facebook will see your content. You want an army of raving fans talking about you – and Facebook can do just that!
    Also, your Facebook fan count acts as social proof.  That means when someone comes to your Facebook page and sees you have a few thousand fans (or more!) they think, “Ok, this Instructor is legit, popular, professional, etc etc.”  Crazy, I know.  But true!  We want to become fans of pages our friends and peers like.  The more fans you have, the more new fans you can get.

    Tip#1:If you have a website then get a Facebook “like” Box

    A Like Box helps you attract Facebook fans that are genuinely interested in you and your business. You will have seen these on just about every website you visit.  It’s where you can see the little Facebook box where you can like the page from your own website.

    It’s easy to implement and is one of the more effective ways to grow a quality fan community.
    If you are struggling with how to do it then ask your website developer

    Tip#2: Target Friends of Fans with Facebook “Like Ads”

    A Like Ad will be shown to the friends of your fans and does not require any special copy or images. It’s easy to set up, inexpensive and extremely effective.

    I have used Like adverts to grow both the Choreographytogo and Kick Start Fat Loss Page

    These ads are the simplest ads to set up, and the cheapest too.
    When you attract fans who are friends with your existing fans, you are more likely to attract a “quality” fan.
    When you run Like Ads, your exposure, reach and impact on Facebook increases quickly.

    Tip #3: Increase Your Engagement and Interact on the page regularly

    Here’s how engagement will help you attract more fans:
    One of the most common reasons why people on Facebook struggle to get more fans is that they don’t have any engagement on their Facebook page. When you don’t have engagement you won’t be seen in the news feed and the news feed is where all the action is on Facebook.

    When you get people talking about you on Facebook (liking your posts, commenting and sharing your content) your exposure organically increases (meaning you don’t have to pay for the engagement, it just happens naturally).  When your exposure increases, your fan base increases.

    The more great content your post and share, the more people comment then the more people will see it in the newsfeed.
    So there you have my top 3 tips to getting more fans on your Facebook pages.

    Keeping your Fitness Pilates clients coming back for more and more – by Kelly Reed-Banks
    Good morning C2GOers!!

    I hope you are all ready to go now September is upon us!! Today I wanted to give you my top 5 tips at keeping your Fitness Pilates clients coming back for more and more.

    I know I am lucky to deliver such an awesome product created by the legend that it Miss Holmes in the fact that Fitness Pilates is ever evolving and also I am lucky enough to play a role in that development with delivering the FP certification course over the last 5 years and the level 3 mat work Pilates qualification over the last 4 years. However, my clients are very demanding and this is probably my own fault as I regularly update my choreography, always try to deliver to a very high standard and promise them new and exciting ways of achieving their goals. I am also in a very competitive market where we have another 3 Pilates instructors delivering classes to a high standard in my village where I run Burwell fitness. So I have to keep ahead of the game to keep my clients coming back for more and more.

    So here are my best 5 tips for you to do the same!

    #1 – Constant Contact!!! – I know the amazing Jayne Nicholls talks about this a lot and uses it as one of her catch phrases but it’s true! The more contact you have with your participants the more they will keep coming back! I know we say this soooo much but I can’t emphasise it enough about having everyone on your mailing list – you MUST contact them on a regular basis! Even if it’s just to give them your health tip of the week or updates on your weekly classes. It will keep you in their mind and they will be thinking of you when they need to get their Fitness Pilates fix and not anyone else!!

    #2 – Ask for feedback!!! – This might be the scariest thing you do, but it will improve your teaching MASSIVELY!! Ask them what they enjoy, what they find challenging, which exercises they dislike and why? What they want more/less of in the class. This makes them feel special, that you are tailoring your class to their needs and opinions. Sometimes we hear things we don’t like – that happened to all of us but constructive feedback really will improve you as an instructor, your participants will enjoy your classes more as they know you have listened to them and also will stand you above the rest who don’t bother to ask for feedback!

    #3 – Mix it up!! – and I’m talking about warm ups, cool downs, using different equipment, your music – EVERYTHING!! Don’t let your classes fall into becoming the same every week. People don’t like too much change but soon get bored easily so there is a fine line you need to keep in making your classes fresh. I suggest adding just 1 change every week. – it might be your music, it might be that you change the area of the body you start your warm up on or you do a different piece of equipment each week for 4 weeks and then rotate it! Whatever you do, keep your classes fresh by drip feeding some new changes from week to week!

    #4 – Run a special course or 1 off Master class from time to time!! – this will cater for those participants who want to know more, who like special attention and are willing to take their Fitness Pilates training to another level. Charge it at a little more money like £10 for the master class or £25 – £30 or the 4 week course. You could run a 2 hour Master Class on a Saturday afternoon all about back care, giving specific exercises to help strengthen the back or help improve mobility. You could run a 4 week focus course where you focus the whole class on a specific area of the body each week like week 1 – shoulders and upper back, week 2 – hips etc – These are so popular with my participants and anyone who came on my last Fitness Pilates Focus tour will know exactly what I am talking about!!

    #5 – Talk to your group throughout the class!!! – Don’t talk at them, ask them questions – how does it feel? Can you feel it? where can you feel it? So many instructors I see on a daily basis have no real interaction with their group and this makes your classes really one sided. Interaction is a great way of making your participants feel at ease, feel like they are not the only one feeling this way! Yes you will always have people who wont talk back but I’m sure in your groups there will be people who will always make up for it!

    I really hope that has been helpful and please feel free to drop me a line with any questions or feedback –

    Much Love Kelly xx
    Kelly Reed-Banks

    From victim to victor Jill Gardner

    Things could not have possibly been better towards the end of 2012, love, life and business was booming….

    I had worked with the best in the industry
    A Growing global brand with clients from all over the world
    Brand ambassador
    Cookery books and fledgling on-line cookery TV show
    A DVD, local fame and successful group classes
    A networking queen, radio, magazines, newspapers, joint ventures
    Cookery courses, corporate gigs, local and national press
    Hell I even made it in the FitPro’s top five fitness professionals of the year!

    But then……….BANG!!!

    Where did it all go?
    What happened to The Fat Controller?
    I should have seen it coming…. That’s if I hadn’t of ignored all the warning signs:

    Insomnia, lack of motivation, negativity, fatigue, bad decisions, an inability to make decisions, silly errors, letting people down….

    At first it all started to happen slowly. The work was beginning to pile up and my energy was disappearing. But soon it started to gather a momentum that I couldn’t control! Like a big boulder rolling down a hill gathering speed it started to take out everything in its path till it eventually crashed at the bottom! With me, my business and health crushed underneath!

    A terminally ill father, painful and sticky divorce, young teenagers, running a business, helping clients, moving home, relationship breakdown….. It all piled up at once and I tried to do it all on my own! Trying to spin too many plates it could only end one way and with disastrous results.

    Inevitably my business suffered along with my mental and physical health. This in turn made things even worse. I felt such a failure. With crippling adrenal fatigue and depression I had no desire to get out of bed, write, speak. In fact breathing was an effort as my whole body ached! I was ready to let everything I had worked so hard on disappear.

    Two MAJOR turning points and moments when I knew when I had reached rock bottom:
    1. Counting out all the various pills and drugs in the medicine cabinet and checking on google if I have enough to finish me off!
    2. Blacking out and breaking my nose in the middle of the night. I was ill!

    I was in a pit of self loathing and despair that only I could get myself out. Once I realised that it was up to me, I began to take back control and simplify my life. I could blame no one and therefore I decided I would not be a victim, I would instead be victorious!

    I learned to say no
    I learned to break free of a virtual pretend world where you can hide
    I learned to let go of negative people and relationships
    I learned to rest! rest and rest more!
    I learned to let go of the idea of perfection
    I learned to let go of the notion I could please everyone and achieve everything
    I learned to let go of the things others could do better
    I learned that it’s OK to get it wrong

    Although this has been an immensely challenging time I have learnt to be grateful for this experience. I have grown and learnt so much more than I ever thought possible. I am now unbreakable as I know I can survive just about anything. I know so much more and can help and reach out to even more people with the new skills and experience I have got. I am now in a much richer place to help others.

    Sure I am not 100% back up to speed yet but I know it will happen if I take my time. But I recognise how easy this can happen to myself and others. And how many other self employed fitness professionals can be so vulnerable to this.

    Having systems in place and some on-line products with a strong brand has meant my business is more than salvageable and I was able to keep it afloat with virtually no input but I lost my way. The climb back to the top will be even more victorious knowing how hard the fight has been.

    Maybe you have had an experience that you been able to draw from to use in your business and with clients? Maybe you have but don’t yet realise it or know how to use it? it’s your experiences like this which make you unique and who you are. I would love to know!

    So from victim to victor! Here’s to our triumphs over adversity and the curve balls in life that can seemingly try to stop us but actually……. they make us stronger!

    Big love, small tummies!

    Jill Gardner – The Fat Controller

    Running a business and commitments….Cori Withell

    We all have commitments.
    We all have responsibilities.
    So, what makes this article any different?

    Well, what happens when those commitments stop you from running your business the way you want to?

    Take your family for instance.
    What if you have a demanding parent that needs a lot of care?
    What if you have a child with special needs?
    What if you have an injury and teaching is risking that injury?

    These are all commitments that can have an impact on your business.
    Where are you going to draw the line?

    My Mum has been severely mentally ill since the early seventies, I have never known her well.  Over the last few years her mental capacity has diminished at an alarming rate.
    I found myself having to cancel classes at short notice – sometimes so short that I couldn’t contact people in time.
    Naturally this had an impact on my business.
    I struggled on thinking it would be okay but it wasn’t.
    Class numbers were dive bombing – completely understandably.  At the end of the day I was being unreliable.  It wasn’t my clients fault that I had family issues, no, this was my problem and mine to fix.

    I took a massive gamble.

    You’ve got to remember also that I had a pretty turbulent three years prior to this – my clients were pretty much fed up with me.

    My gamble?
    I decided I only wanted those clients that understood where I was coming from.
    I didn’t want the ones that thought me selfish for putting my family and my health first.
    I didn’t want those that were going to be nice to my face but slate me at every available opportunity.
    I knew I was going to lose clients.
    I was prepared for that.

    I had a successful online business.
    My fit camps were still going well.
    I had already cut down to two nights a week teaching to free me up to spend more time with Mum.
    My e-books continued to sell well.

    I knew this was the right decision for me.

    I sent out an audio in my newsletter.
    I didn’t have any notes.
    I didn’t practise.
    When I made mistakes I didn’t stop and start again.

    It was completely from the heart and it was the single most positive thing I have done this year.
    I have ditched those energy sucking negative vampires from my client base.  Some have asked to come back but I have stood firm – I don’t need or want those kind of clients in my life, my Mum takes enough energy thanks lol!

    So, what am I really trying to say?

    You only have one shot at life.
    Make sure you are living it the best way that you can.

    Don’t live life like a merry go round.
    Live it like the best roller coaster in the world 🙂
    It’s just too short.

    Health and happiness x
    Best wishes
    Cori x

    I will dispense this advice now…Zoe Mcnulty

    The less money there seems to be out there, the more emphasis there is on making money, which is most understandable considering the state of the economy and the fact that non of us are getting any younger, only more knackered and the word pension bares no relevance to many of our lives.  But I would like to turn my attention to those who are just starting out in fitness and are looking to discover their identity; those fresh faced, energetic (and often arrogant) ones who are the future of the industry. They need to learn to walk before they can mambo chassé with a pivot turn.  A lot of talk is aimed at business owners with the assumption that they are excellent at what they do and they may well be. You may well be, but it will always be an uphill struggle without certain key skills and more importantly, honorable characteristics, which will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life, whether yo u end up pulling pints for a living or go on to invent the next Zumba and become a gazillionaire!

    I’ve been in the fitness industry quite a long time now, not a mega length of time and to some key people in the business I’m still a pup (I’m happy to maintain this mirage of youth for as long as possible) but my point is, I know what makes a great instructor.  I’ve held many an audition for London’s coolest gym chain and have seen a range of abilities  and attitudes and often the latter carries more weight that the former.  When Rachel asked me to write for the newsletter again I had just finished writing a workshop for some newbies at one of the gyms I teach at in London, the purpose of which was to help them to improve their teaching skills but I discovered as I wrote the workshop, that much of my advice was about attitude and that what they sow in their character now, at the start of their career, they will reap later and will shape their future.  Having worked all over the place, in many roles within the industry, some prestigious, some not so, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t and I’ve seen people climb and I’ve seen them crash and burn.  I myself have made so many mistakes and come a cropper all too often (in fact at some point in the past I have broken all of the ‘rules‘ in the list below) but if I can prevent anyone from being in some of the situations I have found myself in and steer them in the right direction, then that’s my job satisfaction right there.
    One of the previous times I wrote for Choreographytogo I mentioned that Baz Luhrmann song ‘Sunscreen’ and I am still taken by the beauty and simplicity of it’s advice.  If you catch me having a poignant moment when it plays on shuffle on the iPod, I will easily shed a tear as it advises me to not do what I have already done and I know full well that I will make the mistakes it is advising against and not even realise until years later.  I may be listening to the radio, probably by telepathy by that point and it will be on the Golden Oldies telepathy station and I will note that, yup, I went ahead and made that mistake, again.

    So… In the words of Mary Schmich (who wrote the lyrics to the afore mentioned song) “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now….”

    *Be professional! A broad concept which is backed up by the rest of this list.
    *Be on time… Strike that, be EARLY!
    *Plan, be that your day, your week, your choreography (please do not wing it, this shows a lack of respect for what you do)
    *Practice, even when you think you have got it all down pat.
    *Keep it simple wherever possible – don’t bite off more than you can chew; perfect the art of something before attempting something more challenging, which often may not be appreciated.
    *Get stuff done.  Procrastination does nothing but create a sense of unease and panic within.
    *Encourage continually, even when you’re feeling disheartened.  *It will help to take the focus of you and your ‘poor me’ attitude and lift you instantly.
    *Be sympathetic to individuals’ needs.
    *Learn where the boundaries are in given situations and avoid crossing them.  If you do, be sure to make amends.  If amends cannot be made, if you are not given the chance or the offended party will not listen, move on.
    *Be kind and patient.
    *Always have a back up plan.
    *Always be ready/prepared to jump in and help out at any given moment even if the task is daunting; it is in these times when you will learn quickly and grow the most.
    *Enjoy growing, learning & developing.
    *Grow continually – Research.
    *Avoid complaining to those who have no power to change anything – negativity is contagious and no one will thank you for it.
    *Definitely do not complain about other people, it will always get back to them. Awkward!
    *Be conscientious.
    *Care about your professionalism, care about your customers, care about your peers
    *Go the extra mile.
    *Be helpful.
    *Don’t wait to be asked to help if you see an opportunity, even if offense is taken. That’s their issue, not yours.
    *If you don’t care, don’t get into this career.
    *EVALUATE AFTER EVERY SINGLE TASK – What went well, what could have been done better, what will you not do next time, how can you change it to make it better?
    *The Fitness Industry is very small: respect others in the industry – avoid upsetting anyone or it could bite you on the bum, you never know when they will appear again and in what form of authority over you.  If you have upset someone, go out of your way to put it right. If someone has upset you GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to put it right, even if it was not your fault.  Be the bigger person.
    *If you clash with someone and it’s irreconcilable, remove yourself from the situation or learn to avoid them.
    *Respect the opportunities you’re given, be grateful, say thank you.
    *Say please,
    *HAVE INTEGRITY – this is a biggie and I think is the bottom line.
    *BE HONEST – another biggie.  If all that you are is honest you can never trip up over ‘half truths’, exaggerations, twisted situations etc.
    *Be approachable.
    *Don’t be defensive.
    *Have a teachable spirit; be willing to be told there’s a better way of doing something and don’t discard the advice before really thinking it through, especially if the advice-giver has been there, done that.
    *Don’t be lazy.
    *Be a role model, practice what you preach.
    *Get as many qualifications under your belt at the start of your career – be versatile, then once you have tried everything, narrow it down until you find your niche and then work yo’ ass off.
    *Avoid ‘drama llamas’ at all costs (love that phrase!)
    *When you get knocked down, it’s ok to lick your wounds for a while but get back up as quickly as possible.  I’ve had a few knocks this year.  Actually I feel like I’ve been kicked in teeth repeatedly a few times.  Betrayed, ripped off, left hung out to dry and it’s stung and it’s made me question humanity at times.  But I listen to my supporters and dust myself down and take the next step.
    * Never respond to your critics – this will get you nowhere.
    *Put your blinkers on, ignore the ‘competition’, what they are doing is irrelevant.
    *Do not dwell on the mistakes you have made but do learn from them.
    *Don’t stop believing…. hold onto that feeling… sorry!

    I do hope at least some of this resonated with you and maybe helped you decide what to do next or how to behave in your current situation.  I can’t guarantee that adopting this ethos is going to help you make your fortune but I can promise that you will keep your nose clean and your conscience will be super clear.  If you’d like to come along to my dance classes at events all over the country, where I demonstrate my unshakeable integrity (lol) you can find out where I will be and what I am up to by signing up to my newsletter at and filling in the box on the right hand side.  You can catch my RaveFit sessions each week at 8pm on Mondays on; use the code “ZOE” to get £20 off!  If you are a coordinator and you would like for me to come and inject some professionalism into your team with my “Be the Best You Can Be” workshop, d rop me an email at  Have a wonderful week, thank you for having me again, God bless.

    Ditch the Newspapers………Doom, Gloom, Death & Destruction….!!

    By Andrew Crawford

    Don’t know about you …but Ditch the newspapers….!!!

    I’ve just come back from my holidays (Jamaica)……and I have DEFINITELY noticed the media publishing  heaps of ‘Doom, Gloom, Death & Destruction’

    Whichever medium you choose……radio, TV especially the newspapers.

    Wouldn’ t you rather want rum , sun on your bum and some fun??

    Good……….’cause I have just decided to ‘Flip the Script’ and write about something far removed from what I intended to write about today.

    So Andrew…..what has this new subject you are now going to write about got to do with Accountancy & Tax instead of doom and gloom in the room,  including news which makes us feel sad deep inside our core and miserable in the marrow of our bones??

    Well folks………it’s going to be about saving money and in the same breath, having a great fun time whilst doing so.
    I feel it’s my responsibility to help save you some dollars and utilise any assets you may have in the process.

    Now that I am back on UK soil, my blood is still running on ‘Holiday Mode’….talk about jet lag….!!!!

    I’m sure I have a slight bit of insomnia……so whilst all other passengers were fast asleep, I was wide awake watching movies, sipping on brandy & champagne.

    By the time the blinds on the plane had been lifted and the bright morning UK sunshine lit up the plane, breakfast was served, so I had to swap my nearly empty alcoholic beverage stained glasses for breakfast and coffee. Forty minutes to early morning touchdown, I was boozed up and feeling …….that feeling……tee hee….!!!

    So… can you utilise your assets for a good time?

    Have you heard of ‘Swapping’?? ……tst tst……not THAT one……!!

    It works like this…if you have a house or a flat, you can have a cheap holiday by swapping or exchanging YOUR property for one that is abroad. (or in the UK if you wish).

    I don’t need to go into any filler on this as it is that simple.

    I’m looking at this as a way to save money on hotels. Other advantages include:

    no hotel or accommodation costs
    swap cars and avoid car hire costs and benefit from the use of their child seats, roof box, sat nav etc
    live like a local and have a more authentic cultural experience
    feel part of a local community – friends and neighbours are often on hand for a chat or help
    enjoy the space and comforts of staying in a home
    plant and pet care is common by mutual agreement
    enjoy their bicycles, music, books, toys, games and often babysitters
    unlimited holidays – some members swap 4 or more times every year

    Checkout : HomeLink –

    “………HomeLink Home Exchange celebrates its Diamond Jubilee this year (est 1953) and after 60 years we continue to help like-minded families exchange homes all around the world. Many members have been with HomeLink for 10 years or more and so they are very experienced home exchangers.  Homelink specialises in offering personal support to our members via our network of offices around the world.  With HomeLink you have access to our UK office, based in Winchester and our professional team of experienced Home Exchange Co-ordinators in 24 major countries – between us we have combined home swap experience of 375 years!!! …..”

    Here is another for you to check out.

    “……..Love Home Swap is a members-only home swapping site that’s stylish, social and simple to use. Home swap holidays are revolutionising the way people travel. With 44,000+ inspiring homes listed in every corner of the globe, those looking to house swap can save themselves thousands on holiday accommodation costs. A home exchange vacation allows you to holiday like a local and stay in a home as nice as your own. Rather than renting a house, or stopping in a hotel, you can swap your home for a hacienda in Spain, a townhouse in San Francisco, a chalet in the French Alps, or a villa in Tuscany. Never pay out for a rental property or hotel again………..”

    You can also try….
    “….. a marketplace for non-commercial home exchange. You stay in their home while they stay in yours. Save thousands of dollars/euro on your next vacation…..”

    If you are a bit frightened and want to test the water with UK properties first, then check this site out.

    Ok….supposing you have a spare room and need some quick cash. Then you can rent your spare room for a night or two or longer if you wish.
    People who are looking for a room to rent will search a database and may find your room is ideal for what they are looking for.

    This company takes 10% of the fees, so simply add 10% to cover that.

    Check them out here :

    Renting a room in your house can be a good way to get a little bit of pocket money. Remember this additional income is taxable…!!!
    However, you can claim Rent-A-Room relief which is £4,250, so as long as the income falls below this figure, there is no tax to pay.
    So don’t believe everything you read in the papers………oh………you’ve already ditched that broadsheet?? Lord Have Mercy…!!
    Peace , Love and a whole lotta rum baba xx

    Have a wonderful Day
    Love always Rachel x

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