Yoga teacher and retreat leader Jules Barber shares her tips on how to market yourself and build your business as a yoga teacher.
Let’s just take a moment to consider some tough issues
There are a million other yoga teachers out there doing exactly what you are trying to do.
The world doesn’t need you
Understand that you, as an individual yoga teacher, are not automatically in high demand, so clear your head of any expectations you had prior to reading this.
Before taking that statement personally, read on and examine the steps we advise you take to stand out in the yoga crowd.
As unpalatable as it may be to admit, yoga is a popularity contest. And to get popular, you need a following. You need to acquire a small army of yoga practitioners who are keen to try the next pose you post on your instagram account.
Take a moment to think what does my community look like? Who am I trying to target? Don’t make the mistake of believing that you can change the lives of everyone who steps into your yoga class. Instead, the law of attraction will come into play as you attract a particular breed of yoga practitioners based on your teaching style, your personal yoga practice and personality.
You have to make sure you stand out in such an overcrowded space, and it can be really tough to work out how!
Lets consider this though:
90% of yoga retreat attendees go on retreats to learn from their teacher. So put yourself out there. Share who you are, what you care about, what you like and don’t like. Take a stand for something, and create space for others to share their opinions. Know who you are and what your yoga brand is. Your class numbers will increase as you inspire your students to attend consistently and develop in their own practice.
Once you build a rapport with your audience, the next stage is step is to ask them what exactly it is they want.
Yoga teachers often make the mistake of moving ahead with an idea to benefit the community without actually getting curious about the community’s needs. A simple statement, but true.
If for example you want to plan a yoga workshop or a yoga retreat, start by posting to your Facebook or Instagram account, or email your list of students and engage your audience by asking for their feedback.
It’s as easy as stating: “I’m planning a new workshop in the next couple of weeks, is there anything you want to work on in your personal practice? Inspiration and ideas are welcome!” This creates buzz and conversation around the next yoga event. Your consumers, your paying yoga students, want choice and they want to feel like they’re part of the decision making process. This is consumer psychology 101. Use it to your advantage.
Yoga is after all part of the professional services industry – and we all know money doesn’t grow in tree pose. So put the idea of yoga teacher enlightenment aside for now because at the end of the day, money pays the bills, not your unconscious and enlightened self.
Once you have your audience, you have asked them what they want from you, and you have put yourself out there, you need to deliver delicately. I say delicately because marketing your services is all about balance and after all, balance is what yoga is all about!
One final tip: do not bombard your (by now) devoted audience with incessant scripted advertisements for your yoga classes, workshops, retreats, and other events.
There is actually a ratio I suggest following: 3:1. For each advertisement for your yoga business, post three times about something other than your yoga job.
Need ideas? Here are a few:
1. Post a yoga playlist you’re excited about for your classes
2. Share a blog post you came across and talk about why it’s relevant to you, and this doesn’t necessarily have to be directly yoga related
3. Write an article or any other form of creative media to share a personal passion with your audience
4. Put together a list of your favorite music artists, TV shows, movies, etc and ask what your audience thinks
What’s the point?
The point is to engage with your audience outside of the yoga world. Reel them into your world, and your connection to them will last much longer than the sounds of 3 oms before and after your yoga classes.
And if you want to know even more about how to grow your following, develop your brand and take your yoga business savvy to the next level, take a look at The Yoginomics New Teacher’s Retreat in Koh Tao, Thailand from the 5th – 11th April.
Receive 10% off the booking price plus a full spa day package at Jamahkiri Spa Resort when you book through Soul Seed Travel. Contact us for further details.