As amazing as it is to be a yoga instructor in 2020, the truth is that the yoga industry is absolutely saturated.
There is a yoga studio on every corner and it seems like anyone with internet access can lead online classes these days.
And that’s exactly the direction that yoga business is heading, too. The modern-day yogi turns to their mobile device for yoga, meditation, and basically any other wellness-related content.
So it makes sense that you should be there too.
I’ve been teaching yoga online for YEARS and when I first started out as a yoga teacher, YouTube was the easiest platform to get my name out there. It is free, offers unlimited classes to viewers, and does all of the marketing for you.
And I still publish free online classes on YouTube every single week, so it’s definitely a solid place for yoga lovers to get their content.
But as a yoga instructor, your yoga business NEEDS to expand beyond YouTube (because that’s how you actually make money). One of the best ways to do that is to have your own yoga app. With a yoga app, you can offer daily yoga classes, guided meditation, tutorials on yoga poses, and SO much more.
And it’s not all that hard to learn how to launch a yoga app, either.
Over the past decade, all of these companies have sprung up that make it super easy for you to build your own mobile app.
In the past, you would have to hire a developer and a team of coders and adhere to the rigorous standards for Apple App and Google Play stores. But these days it’s so much easier. You just need to know the right companies to work with and your app can be up and running in just a number of days!
Here are the companies that I used to develop my yoga app and bring my membership online to my website.
Uscreen charges a monthly fee and has no upfront costs. You have the option to have videos viewed just from a desktop or as part of their Custom Plan you can also have them on your own branded app.
When you choose to use a custom branded app, Uscreen applies to the app stores on your behalf. You simply have to supply them with the correct artwork and descriptions. If you want to be on Roku, Kindle Fire or Smart TV apps, they can do that for you too!
Depending on the plan you choose, the monthly fee includes handling payments and managing your membership site. All three options give your members a desktop experience.
The desktop experience allows your students to sign in to your membership site to gain access to all of your content and additional purchase options in one place.
You can organize your content to make it easy for members to find the class themes, styles, duration, etc. to make it easy to find exactly what they’re looking for.
Key Takeaway: If you want to create your own online yoga studio for yoga lovers, then Uscreen gives you the ability to create your own yoga app, membership, and platform to provide yoga classes (or even fitness classes).
If you already have a WordPress membership site or are working with a WordPress website, vidapp is the way to go! It links seamlessly with WordPress on the back end, making it so easy to set up and work with.
While Uscreen is more like an all in one solution, vidapp builds off of your existing WordPress web or membership site.
Uscreen has less customization because it’s built to be on all of the platforms so quickly (Roku, Smart Tv, etc.), whereas vidapp allows more freedom to control how your app looks.
I used to use vidapp and loved how I could customize the bottom tab in my app to link to our FB group or PDFs that I had written.
Vidapp only handles payments if you are strictly selling through the app store. They do not manage the membership site, so if you want to be able to offer members a desktop experience, you would have to manage your own membership site.
Key Takeaway: If you want to make the online classes that you teach exclusively without the stress of managing a membership or an online studio, then Vidapp is a great option for you. It’s especially good if you’re a beginner yoga instructor just starting out with your own yoga app as it handles all of the details with the app store for you.
VHX was a great little company that was specifically for creators (I used VHX before switching to Uscreen), but has since been bought by Vimeo and is now more designed for corporations.
Similar to the other sites, Vimeo OTT offers both a PC site and branded apps. Like Uscreen, you upload your videos and they handle payments, processing and manage your membership site. In addition to monthly fees, Vimeo OTT may also require a start-up fee (full plan details can be obtained by contacting them).
Similar to other sites, you upload your videos and they handle payments and processing. Vimeo OTT does not work well with WordPress and similar to Uscreen, there are no customization options.
Key Takeaway: Vimeo TT is a quick and dirty service for the yoga teacher who simply wants to create a yoga studio app without having to launch a whole online yoga business.
Launch Your Own Yoga App, Launch Your Own Yoga Business
Keep in mind that if you are creating an app, you also have the option to let people sign up and pay through the Apple App Store (for iOS devices) or Google Play Stores (for an Android device), in which case you don’t need to set up payments or even have a website.
While that may sound great, know that app stores will take 30% of your revenue and if you’re selling things that are more expensive than $10 or $20/month memberships, many people aren’t going to want that recurring charge on their phone bill.
What a lot of people do, including myself, is to let people buy the app and then encourage them to continue to buy through my website, giving them login credentials that allow them to have both the desktop and app experience.
Kind of a gray area with all of the app stores but completely doable because I have worked with Vimeo, Vidapp, and Uscreen to do it in the past.
After all, you put SO much effort into uploading each yoga session to YouTube. Then you hope that enough yoga lovers stumble across your videos so that you can earn decent revenue.
OR you can bring those viewers over to your daily yoga app and for sure earn decent revenue.
That’s what I did, one yoga class at a time.
If you need more help getting your branded app up and running for your yoga business, set up a private consultation with me.