Yoga is currently a thriving industry. And if you want to make a viable career out of it, you need to keep up with the business side of things.
It has become a bit of a popularity contest that challenges budding and even experienced yoga teachers to dip their toes in the field of marketing.
While a better marketing strategy does not necessarily make you a better yoga teacher, it’s important to remember that we do live in a modern and hyperconnected age, where you’re only as good as your digital presence can show. Marketing provides you with a wider reach and, in turn, more opportunities to change lives through yoga.
And isn’t that our collective goal as teachers?
Any budding yoga teacher and business owner who wants to succeed needs a way to reach out to potential clients, whether through word-of-mouth, traditional advertising, networking, and so on. In the world of marketing, digital media has changed how brands and businesses reach out to prospective clients. Everything now is more user-centric, interactive, and largely concentrated on different social media platforms.
But what’s great about digital marketing is that it opens the door for small businesses and practitioners like you to be in control of how you want to reach out to clients. Something even as simple as setting up a website or an Instagram account can boost your business big time.
That said, here are some pointers to keep in mind as you explore the marketing side of yoga.
Tip 1 – Find your niche.
Think about what sets you apart from literally thousands of other yoga teachers.
It can be the way you build your sequences or the different kinds of themes you introduce in class. Even embodying a simple motto can make your classes more memorable. This can help you structure your classes or narrow your scope to the kind of clientele you want to attract.
For example, you might want to focus on teaching in the corporate setting so then consider the kinds of classes corporate suit-wearing people would be most interested in (probably not mantra chanting).
Finding your niche helps you stay focused on who your target audience is, whether it’s stay-at-home moms or corporate junkies, you want your strategy to be crystal clear. Once you do that, you’re able to communicate it effectively to your current and prospective students.
Tip 2 – Engage your audience.
Online platforms allow you to build a community around your brand. One important tip by Thomas Smale on engaging your customers online is to provide them a platform to provide feedback and start relevant conversations. Ask them questions, respond to their comments, and share your own practice and tips, as well as your personal insights. More importantly, be consistent with posting content, be it through blog form, Instagram photos, tweets, or free video tutorials.
In this way, you’re always connecting with others, wherever they may be.
Tip 3 – Be genuine in sharing your story.
Digital platforms let you to create any personality you want, but audiences will soon pick up if you’re being genuine or not. We all like looking at perfect pictures but in reality, we connect more with those who are down-to-earth, honest, and relatable. Forbes highlights the value of authenticity in building a brand for small businesses and this doesn’t just pertain to publishing posts often.
Be consistent in the message and values you want to share. Talk about your own journey as a yoga teacher, or your own experiences as a yogi. For example, share what made you take the leap of faith in enrolling in YTT and how else you’re planning to improve your personal practice along with your credentials as a teacher.
Tip 4 – Create authentic collaborations.
One way to increase exposure is to team up with other brands that are related to yours. But again, focus on those you genuinely believe in. Don’t promote businesses just for the added follows and likes, especially if they aren’t true to who you are (remember: authenticity!). Focus on creating organic partnerships and stick to the values you learned in yoga.
Tip 5 – Get to know search engine optimization.
One of the best digital marketing tips that I can share with you that not only helps you reach potential customers (for free) but also continues to work for years afterward is search engine optimization (SEO). It will give you the biggest bang for your buck in terms of your marketing efforts and honestly doesn’t take all that much to do it yourself.
Basically, you help potential customers (aka students) find your website on Google. That’s all that it is.
And you do that by writing content (like this blog post) that answers specific questions that your audience probably has. Your blog posts don’t need to be salesy, either. Just provide super helpful content that your audience will love.
This helps build brand awareness by exposing your brand to more people and builds trust with people who might eventually pay you to teach them.
Whether you’re growing your audience through various social media channels or getting yourself found on Google through content marketing and SEO, it’s important to follow tips one through four, anyway.
After all, people don’t want to be duped. They want someone they can trust.
Tip 6 – Get advice from someone who is already successful.
Listen, with almost 8 billion people in the world, there is PLENTY to go around for everyone when it comes finding your target audience. Rather than looking at others as competition, look to them for inspiration. After all, they’ve figured out how to do exactly what you want to do.
They obviously know what they’re doing.
Take a look at their digital marketing strategy and see if you can find anything helpful for your own. Watch their Instagram stories, check out their Facebook ads, sign up for their newsletters, and even take some of their online yoga classes. Get to know their brand and what works for them and then see how you can make that into your own.
And if you really want step-by-step guidance, then you can sign up for a yoga business training. My 300-hour online yoga teacher training, for example, not only dives into more complex yoga topics but it also outlines step-by-step how to launch your yoga brand and build an audience online just like I did over the past 8 years.
If you don’t want to do my training, you can also look for online marketing courses on Udemy or Coursera, for example. There’s plenty of learning opportunities for you to hone your digital marketing skills and build your online presence now.
Piece prepared by Marie Mayer for brettlarkin.com