Motivating your clients

So did you watch it?  The Event: How Racist Are You was a programme in which American teacher Jane Elliot tried to demonstrate how society embeds racism by dividing a group of people into blued eyed and brown eyed people. She then gets the brown eyed people to turn against the blue eyed people by demonstrating negative and aggressive behaviour to the blue eyed people, as well as treating the brown eyed people more favourably.

This was a controversial programme and one which brought out a lot of interesting issues.  She had run this experiment all over the world for over 40 years around the world.  However the point of me sharing this was Jane Elliot’s response at the end of the programmer when the interviewer asked her what she thought people would think of her experiment when she eventually stopped doing them.  She replied,” I don’t care what people think about me.  All I care about is whether I made a difference in the issue of racism.”

So what has this to do with aerobics you may ask?  Well everything! I get a lot of new presenters ask me for advice on how they can break into conventions, or from new instructors asking how they can make their classes more popular.  My main response, apart from being good at what you do, is to be yourself and strive to make a difference.

If you look at all the successful presenters around, they all have their own unique personalities, style of teaching and above have made a difference in a particular area of freestyle fitness.  For example look at how Rebecca Small has become The Queen of Step, or how Cherry Baker has brought core stability to the fore with Abdominal Revolution, or how Paul Chek made stability ball exercises popular with his workshops. Or Rachel Holmes constantly touring with new concepts and ideas.  I think you would agree that all of these presenters have left their mark on the industry.

I still remember teaching a Millennium Sculpting presentation at a Pure Energy Live event in Birmingham, and I had my videos on the front of the stage.   I knew that the information that I would be presenting would be different for the time, and I was right, as people were buying my videos while I was doing my presentation; literally throwing money on the stage while I was teaching.  Wicked!

I have also had the belief that I would not teach or present anything unless it was different or provided a different approach. Hence why I always strive to find different ways to break down and teach choreography, or find alternative ways to present traditional programs, for example powerstretch.

So what about you? Are you going to make a difference this year to your clients?  Are you just going to teach choreography that you learn from a convention or video, or are you going to make it your own, and try to create programs that are unique to you?  Are you going to just teach classes and get your pay cheque at the end of the month, or are you going to go that extra mile, and make a difference to the people that you teach, providing a newsletter for them, giving them regular fitness tips, organising social events for them and actually making a difference?

If you decide to take the second route, you will find very quickly that not only will you become better at what you do, but you will be more appreciated and in turn have more clients/people in your classes.  Trust me!!

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  • Jarda

    I would like to concentrate on body & mind classes. My body needs more stretch 🙂

  • admin

    Hi Thanks for that, and I will try to provide more information regarding stretch and mind body.


  • Carmy

    I try and go the extra mile giving out healthy tips and back exercise diagrams for the afflicted. I think organising social events and newsletters is a fantastic idea. I learn choreography from videos and make it my own and have spent a good few hours putting a new programme together for 2010. Thanks for the info very enlightening.

  • admin

    Carmy, thanks for the comment. Please make sure that you get your online training from my site as you will get choreography ideas from there, Also please feel free to use any articles that I post on here for your newsletters.

    Thanks again


  • Christine

    Thanks for the info, you are very right in what you say. I do all my own choreography and lesson plans using the internet and various other sources for inspiration. I find it hard sometimes to always think of new things and I only teach classes as a part-time job on top of my full time work as many people do, I wish I had more time to plan and prep but with lots of help out there like yours it makes life easier. I’d like to think I try to go the extra mile for my people, and what I lack in perfection I make up for in personality and keeping people motivated. We’re only human after all.

  • admin

    Well done you for taking the time and effort to post a reply. I know how hard it is to teach part time and still be creative, but trust I agree that personality is the real reason that people keep coming back to your classes, and the more we can focus on being ourselves, the better our classes will be overall.

  • Lorraine

    Lincoln, thanks so much for your continual motivation and ideas. I used to do a newsletter for my classes, but when I moved to another area of the country and started a new job, I got so caught up in the work/moving that I started to slack of on those little extras. I’ve now started to build up my class teaching again and you’ve re-inspired me to start up my newsletter again. Keep up your amazing work!

  • admin

    I will do my best. What I will try to do is provide you content that you can literally cut and paste and use for your newsletter. If you let me know what topics you want me to write about then I will get it done.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.


  • Hilary Erin Blake

    I work for council run facilities do you think that anonymous evaluation forms are a good idea, i’m looking for honest feedback from class participants. I am happy for any suggestions and constructive criticisms they might have. In your experience do evaluations forms work?

    I like the discussion topics you present on here, a wealth of information. I never read them straight but always seem to find right information when i need it. Thanks Erin 🙂

  • admin


    In my experience they can do know harm. I think the key is to only take on board comments that you can do something about. When I presented for FitPro one of my evaluations criticised me because they did not like the colour of the carpet! Also you can get to a situation where people clammer for a certain type of class but when the class is on, no one turns up! So although it is great getting customer feedback, you still need to use your judgement before deciding which comments to implement.

    Hope that helps