Updated: 4 days ago
Hello! Welcome to my blog about marketing tips for yoga teachers. This is the first part of a series of blogs and also is part of my yoga mentorship. We all want our classes, retreats and workshops to be full and an increase in traffic and organic visitors to our website is certainly a welcome feature. Part of a digital marketing plan is to have a social media policy, design and optimise a website that speaks your authentic truth and get your SEO going. SEO? Search engine optimisation, you optimise your website so that it gets seen. If you look for something on Google or any other search engine, and the first page comes up with some "relevant" results to your query. This is especially useful if you are new to the area and don't have the privilege of an existing community that can help to promote your classes.
There is a lot to learn if you want to thrive in your yoga venture. So, what does the "business of yoga" involve?
Marketing does provoke in some people an instant provocation or should we say "resistance", but then without it, you will not get your message across the modern channels of communication. Think about it "talking about your passion", that hopefully is the essence of yoga.
Here some tips for making your ethical yoga business thrive:
Go online and have a presence
You need to be online – yes you must show your presence on the net unless you have a huge friends circle and they send you plenty of people to come to your classes or you just want to teach yoga as an extra activity and you are blessed with some financial stability. The number one marketing tool is still “word of mouth” and you can use this “word of mouth” by getting your friends and students to republish your articles, blogs, events, recommend you and write about you.
It is not easy to be online and to find your voice. Some absolutely love it, some people hate it, but the fact is that plenty of people use it and it can give you the “word of mouth” you need to fill your classes and retreats. Almost half of the population of our planet earth is online and 90% of adults in the UK were recent internet users in 2018, up from 89% in 2017 (Office for National Statistics).
In my opinion, THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY of how you want to be online, but only your own authentic way to deal with this. I think the best is to be real and not fake.
Post every day or every week or every two weeks something. People will not follow you if your last post was over 2 months ago. Some teachers don’t seem to need it and have a huge following anyway. They normally have attracted enough people (maybe they have their own studio or have never moved away from their hometown), but if you are new to the scene, it might take years before you come into this position. For every 1 sales post, it is recommended to roughly write two other posts that are more personal or/and give some value to people.
Be real and authentic
There will be always somebody who will judge you. That's life. You are real and that is how you are, and you don’t need to hide or pretend anything.
Don’t think that it’s true that those people who pretend to be always happy and everything is a good lesson are content and happy all the time. It’s a mask and neither do I personally believe that everything in life is a lesson! You can certainly learn something but sometimes “Stercus accidit” and that’s it. You can accept that life has good and bad parts and do your best with kindness and be content with your contribution (that is different to pretend a happy life in all situations). I personally believe in real authentic beings. There are enough people with masks out there, and yoga for me is taking those masks off to see the real authentic person and yes, it leaves you with a bit of vulnerability, but with the right dose of self-love, you are not afraid to be real and authentic. So, whatever you decide to be, be it! If you want to post less, post more, it does not really matter, be yourself, respect others and overall act with kindness. Saying that it can be annoying if we get bombarded with sales pitches or endless selfies in fancy yoga postures...
Use social media for better connection
Social media for myself means connecting better and I have learnt a lot about my students and made new friends, and I am not afraid to show my real friends and students who I am. Of course, there are lots of people who you don’t know or befriend you for any other reason than to get to know you. In any case, it is an ongoing enquiry into what works for you and what does not work for you.
What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create. Buddha
People will not understand “do you live in avidya or get rid of avidya” or “I will teach you myofascial release techniques” – say and explain it in a voice most people will understand, for example, “are you sitting for long hours on a chair and feel that your shoulders are tense and painful, come to my workshop where I will teach you how to soften and release this tension through…”
Don’t just promote yourself and your business, but engage people
Post something useful, about yourself too. As mentioned above, the ratio is said to be about 3:1 (so for every promotion you post make sure you post 3x something that is just interesting but does not intend to sell. Always respond to comments, build trust and real connection. If you have the time contribute to groups and provide value to other members. If you want to be really organised, you can prepare a weekly list of what to post and when (note: certain times are better than others). Check what posts are getting most engagements and you may learn from them. Google Analytics, Facebook and other tools let you track social media and help you to see when and who looks at your posts.
Do not share photos of your students without their consent!
Teachers seem to be posting all the time about their classes and taking pictures of their students in Savasana or meditation or during the class. I would absolutely hate this invasion into my intimate connection with myself and surely so do more people. Ask your students for permission if you need some pictures beforehand. Ideally, don’t do this as you teach. You can ask your students if they can support you and pose after class.
Be unique – everybody else is taken! Be yourself
At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvellously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.Friedrich Nietzsche
Lastly, communicate, don't take everything personally! Just because somebody posts something it has not to be about you. Ask if in doubt. Don't assume the worst.
I also strongly recommend taking a break here and again from social media. It can be overwhelming, so take a digital detox!
Claudia Steinhauser SYAP
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