If you’re a yoga teacher, then yoga is your business. That means you need students on a regular basis to guarantee yourself an income. And for that, no matter how incredible you are – and we're sure you're great! – you'll likely need to do some yoga marketing to keep your schedule full.True, if you work in a gym or a studio as an employee, you’re pretty much covered. But if you run your own yoga business, you need to get active and stretch your imagination to help your business grow.
The Basics on Starting a Yoga Business
Marketing yoga begins with building a solid base. As such, when starting your yoga business, you need to make sure you've got all your basics covered first. Only once they're all covered, should you begin publicizing your services. These essentials include a number of things like:
- Get certified – Most gyms and studios require certification from a reputable place as a prerequisite for teaching yoga. If you’re opening your own yoga business, in your home or a rented studio, it’s also highly recommended. Yoga instructor certification proves you're a professional and gives you added marketing power. Most students after all prefer taking classes with someone who's qualified.
- Register your business – If you’re setting up a business, you also need to form a legal entity and register for taxes. This is the point where you need to think of yoga business names, and choose the one that works for you. Just make sure it's original, or at least not the same as one of your competitors.
- Write a yoga business plan – Whether you’re looking for investors or self-funding your venture, a yoga studio business plan is always a good idea. It helps give your business direction, and serves as a checklist as you reach your goals. The more detailed the better. Start by the describing the services you wish to provide. Next you'll want to detail which customers you hope to attract, and how you'll do so. Also make sure to list your expenses for the full picture of what it's all going to cost.
- Create a contract – While trust is great, it's not enough when you're in business for yourself. You need a signed contract for protection. If you’re running your own yoga business, you may in fact need two types of contracts; one between you and employees, and another between you and your customers.
- Set up a business bank account – Since you have income and expenses related to your business, it is recommended that you separate your business account from your personal finances.
- Buy insurance – Remember insurance for yoga teachers is required in many places, and certainly a good idea even when it's not. It proves you're a professional. Plus, it protects your business from all sorts of unexpected occurrences.
Yoga Marketing 101
Once your business is setup, it's time to spread the word. As you do, it’s important to keep a few things in mind in terms of yoga business opportunities and branding.
First of all, always make sure to emphasize your expertise and professional commitment to potential students. This includes making it clear that you have experience, proper certification, business licensing, and carry insurance.
If you specialize in a certain type of yoga, like Ashtanga, Hatha or Vinyasa, make sure to make this known as well, by emphasizing it in all your marketing materials.
Likewise, it’s always a good idea to emphasize what type of space you provide in your yoga studio marketing. For example, if you give private lessons from your home you may want to sell this as a holistic, personalized experience. On the other hand, if you're running a studio,with yoga classes around the clock this is another excellent differentiator to highlight.
And finally, you need to think about the audience you’re addressing. If you want to position yourself as a place for experienced yogis only, align your messaging accordingly. Otherwise, make sure to keep the tone of all marketing materials friendly and open, to encourage all levels of students to attend.
Yoga Marketing Ideas
There are all sorts of yoga studio marketing strategies you can explore to help build your business. Most of them are fairly easy, once you get started. In time, you'll find the ones that work best for your business. A few worth trying include:
- Create a website – A website is important for attracting customers (especially those doing a Google search), as well as keeping existing customers up-to-date. In addition to including your teaching credentials, professional quality photos of you and/or your students doing yoga, and your contact details, it’s a good idea to keep your class schedule updated there as well.
- Build your social media presence – Love it or hate it, social media is an important part of marketing these days. You may consider taking to Twitter to send out class updates or healthy lifestyle tips. Other options include Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube where you can post videos of your classes in action. You can even post a full session for potential students to try at home.
- Print yoga business cards – Business cards are a good idea for pretty much any line of work. Make sure to get yours branded according to your yoga style, with a strong logo and easy to read contact details. If you want to invest a little more, magnets are a good option as well.
- Offer unique services and incentives – As part of any yoga marketing effort, it’s a good idea to spice things up. You can do this with special classes or discount offers from time to time. For example, you can offer yoga in the park one Sunday of the month, or a 10% discount to a popular yoga retreat that you'll be attending.
- Position yourself as a pro – Another great way to gain a yoga marketing advantage is to position yourself as a pro. To do this you can create a blog or send out a monthly newsletter with useful yoga and lifestyle tips. If you’re really ambitious, try speaking with your local newspaper to write a weekly column. Or look to land a spot on a local morning talk show. Even if you do it for free, it generates a lot of clout with customers.
Tips for Your Long-Term Success
While these marketing for yoga teachers ideas are a great starting point, there are plenty more opportunities for selling your yoga business. These include anything from casual word-of-mouth to taking out local ads and even starting a lecture series.
Whichever path you choose, the key to successful yoga business marketing is to stay true to your goals. This helps make it clear to customers what you offer, and what they’ll gain by working with you. In other words, by showing them your true value, you'll be able to build your business over the long-haul.