Updated: Sep 8
I started to speak in part A about being online and using social media and will add a few things in part B. To be a yoga teacher and having just finished a 200-hour course, unfortunately, is not enough. There are certain techniques you need to acquire to be seen.
You will eventually need a website and a good solid social media strategy.
Business Page versus Personal Page
"Marketing for Yogis, so that you can teach your passion"
There are advantages and disadvantages to each page. The advantage of a personal page is that people seem to see your posts more since on a business page you are almost expected to have a budget to here and again boost your posts or advertise. However, it is also possible to combine your business page with your personal page, so that you don’t split the audience too much by tagging your name in the post or vice versa your business page (if it is a place).
You can track social engagement on a business page. Facebook usually sends an update regarding your pages that can tell you a lot about engagement and your audience.
Unfortunately, nowadays the success of a yoga teacher often seems to be more judged by his or her brand and social media status than with the actual years of teaching. It takes years to be an expert in any discipline and it’s easy to feel discouraged by seeing people posting as if they have had all those years just because they created what seems a successful social media following, but remember to stay humble and if you do have this experience stay on your path and shine your own light to keep encouraging change in others. In the end, it does not matter how many exotic pictures we post but how many lives we got to change in real life. It does not matter how glamorous somebody looks (especially in yoga, if this person has not transformed us in a subtle positive way).
On a business page you can plan well ahead, which means you do not even have to be online all the time (if you dislike social media and being too much on the internet), that is, you can schedule your posts.
Furthermore, on a business page, you are also able to create ads and that can certainly help you to attract more people. You can build an audience and tailor it to your ad. Since you are able to check engagement levels, that is, you see when they look at your posts, how old they are, where they come from etc. – you can tailor make your posts, or you may suddenly realise that your audience is somewhere else, and you can plan a workshop there!
Social Media does not really help to get a better ranking and it does not really matter how many likes your posts have, but it helps to increase traffic and this in itself is good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
There are plenty of website hosts out there. The most known is WordPress, but Wix also offers quite an easy way to build and structure your own online presence. You can also use YogaWordPressTheme, which will help you to choose a theme and provides an easy template.
Think of a name (brand), title and logo. This is more and more important and counts for Google to see you as a trusted provider of content online as a person or yoga studio. Define a mission. What is your mission and how can you attract the right audience with this?
What inspires you about yoga and what do you want to share with others. Design some visual elements, a logo or a slogan you stand for. Use pictures, videos and make sure your text is about 300 characters minimum. You may not have pictures of you doing very difficult postures and it’s true that people get attracted by pictures, but again, think of who you want to attract, not everybody inspires to be able to perform difficult postures (we are more in need of letting go of tension and stress) and you can make simple postures look very serene and real. As I mentioned in Part A, I see the future of social media as being as real as possible.
They say in content marketing “content is king” and that’s what it is. Create high-quality content and then post it, it helps you to attract your audience and gets traffic to your website. You can write articles, posts, blogs about different “in” subjects etc. For example, check on Buzzsumo, Quora, Google Trends or Google People also ask for – what currently is “in”.
Write some Evergreen content (content that can stay as a basis for your website and does not expire), create some seasonal content (e.g. yoga in the winter, in the summer, spring or autumn) and make sure you update dates, class timetables and events regularly. When you create seasonal content publish it a few months before the season to make sure Google bots have received your content, indexed it (you can submit a sitemap to google search console). This ensures that your content will come up when the time arrives.
To give away knowledge, your love for yoga and interesting articles is attracting people to see value in you. It might also be something that you like or be creative about. If you are not, don’t worry, it is only one way of many ways. You can also offer other give away ideas, such as lesson plans, handouts, tips, etc. You save them in a PDF file and people can download it from your website or after signing up you send them a handout.
The key point is that with so many studios run by business people with wealthy people behind them (often being able to afford a person who is responsible for marketing), it is even more important to know how to stand out. You can monitor those studios and might even learn some things from them. It does not mean we should copy exactly, but we can draw inspiration from what other “successful” teachers or studios do. Like anything in life, it depends on the perspective you take. In the beginning, I was almost shocked when I saw people copying me, now I see it as a compliment that people are inspired by me. However, try not to copy word for word. Be aware that duplicate content can penalise a website. Neither is it cool if you take the work of others and present it as your own!
Make sure you adjust your language to the audience you address. If you mainly deal with elderly people, use a bigger font and be more descriptive, younger people on the net prefer more pictures and less text. Always use a clear voice targeted to YOUR AUDIENCE. Make sure you update your readers with interesting material. Make it valuable and engaging to them. Share it! Ask others to share it. You can share it on Quora or your own social media portal (this will help to drive even more traffic to your website). Blogging also helps you to increase (if you use trendy keywords) to channel new organic (free) traffic to your website.
People who search for your keywords might see your blog. Pictures are important, so make sure your picture contains also keywords in the Alt and are not too heavy to show up on mobiles or laptops. People really get attracted more by pictures than a long-written piece of scientific research. Be yourself on those pictures. People seem to be obsessed with infographics, so if you inspire in getting creative, that might be a good way to get people to share your content. It also helps to create backlinks to your website when people start sharing your infographics in their blogs with your website link in it.
This is another important way to create trust with google and rank your site higher in search results. If you are lucky and get featured on other websites (which have high authority, that has a higher valued Page Authority) is even better. You obtain a high page authority when you rank good and fulfil the criteria by google to be a trustworthy brand that provides relevant information to its users, have an easy navigational website with external and internal linking in place.
You can write about something you want to know better, so at the same time you learn or something, you feel you want to share (for example, how you overcame a painful experience using yoga as a tool or what has changed since you practice yoga or how yoga makes you feel). Make sure you offer a sign-up option to be notified if you write a new blog and entice people to sign up so that you can build up your database. Another idea is to write about what to do with certain painful joints, e.g. with wrists if students have weak wrists in positions, such as, Downdog etc. Always finish what you write with a CTA (call to action), a call to action could be to sign up, read more, call you for more information, sign up to your next workshop etc.
Try to make yourself a plan of action and be consistent, e.g. email your students once a month. Seek to differentiate yourself and let your personality shine through the writing.
There is no need to be formal or too academic about it unless you write for academics only. There are even tools on the market, which help us to plan ahead, like one tool as the name “asana” and lets you schedule tasks.
When I worked in marketing, we tested headlines, that is, we chose two headlines and checked which ones produced more opening of the emails. Try to write a catchy headline. Mailchimp lets you do this and lets you also test subject or content. It also tells you when the best time is to post things.
People get so many emails that sometimes they delete things without even looking at the content, and you don’t want your blog to end up in the bin without having been read, because you forgot to write a headline, or the headline seemed of no interest to anybody even thus you wrote this wonderful piece of content.
After a while, reassess if analytics work, that is, if nobody reacts or reads anything, rethink and make some changes if necessary.
Make sure all you send out is spell checked, reuse old articles, blogs and edit them, you can design out of blogs and old pictures a video, you can turn videos series into a DVD, articles about subjects into a podcast or PDF E-book etc.
If you are into Videos or have the skills to make them, you can upload them on YouTube or Vimeo and share them on your site, in a blog or on social media.
Think of anything that can entice people to sign up for your products or services, e.g. come to a workshop or retreat instead of only coming to regular classes.
If you want some help, get in touch and I will help/mentor you to create a successful social media strategy and website.