Private Schooled: 4 Strategies to Evolve Pilates Clients from a Class Setting to Private Training

December 2019
Author: Suzy Levi, BA, NCPT, ACE, PMA Board of Directors

As Pilates teachers and enthusiasts, we naturally gravitate toward private sessions over group classes. We’ve seen the accelerated results first-hand and have observed the amazing impact this one-on-one approach can bring to our bodies and our lives.


So why aren’t more people coming through the studio door begging for private Pilates sessions? Good question. Having taught Pilates now for 20 years, I have a few theories relevant to my practice and business that I’m excited to share below. We’ll get to them in a minute. First, I want to highlight a key insight. People tend to overlook private sessions, thinking it would be cost prohibitive – yet, they may spend $40-$80 a week on a coffeehouse habit without thinking twice. If they are attending your studio and taking group Pilates classes, it’s likely that they CAN afford private Pilates. You just need to plant the seed by selling Yourself and Pilates. And you need to clearly explain WHY they should invest in improving their lives and bodies with private sessions.


Once you’ve given a client the “why,” follow through with these simple strategies to convert your class participants into life-long private clients:

1. Offer them an Invitation.
Approach your student after class and offer to help them with an exercise they are struggling to execute. Give them a few tips and suggest trying a private session explaining how a one-on-one can help assist them in mastering that exercise and much more. Often, all they need is a special invitation, just like when you are invited to a party!

2. Use Testimonials.
Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials to credibly promote the benefits of private Pilates sessions. It is human nature to want what other people have if we perceive it to be great. Ask your best clients to tell their stories and promote them in studio, on your website, on social media, and even ask them to tell everyone in class. Don’t be shy, be proud and promote all of the wonderful work you are doing through Pilates!

3. Use Marketing to get the word out.
Inform people about the transformative results they’re capable of, with help from you! Promote the benefits of private Pilates from every rooftop. Post client interviews on your social media pages, feature client success stories in your weekly/monthly newsletters, and feature clients of the month in studio celebrating their success with private training.

4. Offer Programs instead of Packages.
Be creative and offer programs that bundle sessions with goal setting, weekly check-ins, and take-home exercises. This displays to clients that you care about them and want them to succeed.

Lastly, it is important that you know yourself and the unique skills you have to offer. Articulating this key information and sharing it with others will help you attract the right people to your business that will ultimately help your clients succeed and your business thrive.

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Category: The Method