Today we’re talking about how you can grow your yoga biz as a yoga teacher and not just rely on social media to grow your business. Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a valuable tool to help you build your biz and get people into your yoga classes, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. Also, if you’re a little bit fed up with social media like Instagram and Facebook (I know I am), this is going to be a great episode to listen to.
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Create a flyer or poster
What should you put on your yoga flyer?
First off, you can create a flyer or poster and distribute them in local shops, cafes, and community centers. On your flyer you want to be clear about what you offer and how people can contact you, but don’t overdo it with the information on a flyer. What you want is for people to pick up the flyer or move closer to the poster to check it out, and a text heavy flyer is not appealing. You want to create something that stands out, uses nice colours and a font that is easy to read.
You can have your yoga class schedule on your flyer, but if your schedule changes frequently, it’s better to keep your schedule on your website and refer people who find your flyer or poster to your website. You can use a QR code for that, or put the url on the flyer. It’s actually very easy to generate a QR code for any link.
- Download the Google Chrome app from the Google Play Store.
- Navigate to the URL you want to share, for instance, your homepage/schedule
- Click the three vertical dots (⋮) on the top toolbar.
- Tap Share.
- On the pop-up, select QR Code.
- Either click Download at the bottom or hold your phone up for someone to scan the code.
- After downloading you can upload the QR code to your design software and add it to your flyer.
Easy-to-use free design software
It’s very easy to create a flyer in Canva, a free software that even people with very little design skills can use, because you can search thousands of templates. So all you have to do is search “yoga flyer” and lots of results will pop up. You pick the one you like most, change the text, change the colours to your brand colours and done!
Getting your yoga flyer printed
Canva even offers a printing service which is pretty good, I’ve used it because in my neck of the woods there aren’t that any printing shops, but you may want to check out your local printing shops too as they might have better pricing (+ I always like to support small local businesses where possible). I’ll link to Canva in the shownotes so you can check it out. It’s free, but I use the pro version as it comes with so many features like resizing with a click of a button, or downloading a picture without a transparent background. It was actually the first software in my business that I upgraded, it was the first paid software I used, before I upgraded my email service provider and course software!
Where to distribute your yoga flyers and posters?
Once you have your flyer designed and printed, think about where your students go to eat and shop, where they like to spend their time. Yoga students are usually people interested in healthy food and self development so health food shops are a good place, nutritionists, local coaches you may know. Also shops that sell yoga gear. And it’s the same for posters, you want to put up your poster where people who might be interested in yoga classes pass by frequently. So maybe not your local night club, but again, health food shops and cafes, the local farmer’s market, community centres, and local B&Bs are good places to start.
Hosting a free yoga class
The second way to market your yoga biz is to host a free yoga class, either online or in a park or on a beach. This will not only help you to market your classes but also give people a chance to try out yoga before committing to a paid class. I’ve created a whole podcast episode on whether you should teach yoga for free, it’s episode 3 if you want to go back and listen to that, so I’m not going to go into more detail here. I’ll link to that episode in the shownotes.
Marketing your yoga classes with press and PR
Providing valuable content
The third way to market your yoga classes is through classic press and PR. You can reach out to local newspapers, magazines, radio and tv stations and offer to teach a yoga class on-air or in-person for their audience or provide an article to feature in the newspaper or magazine.
Pitching for press attention is an art in itself, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. Make a list of all the news outlets that can be useful to you, and write a template email that you can customize easily for each individual outreach. Don’t send the same thing to everyone, as that’s the fastest way to get your email binned pronto. What value can you offer THEM? How can you make their life easier?
In the same way you can reach out to bloggers and podcasts that talk about topics related to or close to yoga, who could be interested in having you on their show or write a blog post. You get in front of their audience, get a link to your website, and they have interesting content they didn’t have to generate by themselves.
Paid local newspaper ads
If you can’t get in the newspaper with an article, it might actually not be so expensive to take out a paid ad. You’ve already created your flyer, and with just a few minor tweaks you can easily redesign your flyer to be a newspaper ad.
Local newspapers will work best for you if you’re teaching in person. If you teach online, you’ll probably be better off advertising on bigger blogs that are related to your niche, or try YouTube or Google ads. This isn’t something I would recommend for a beginner if not much money is coming in yet, though.
Okay, sofar we talked about creating a flyer or poster and leaving it in local shops, cafes and community centres, everywhere where potential yoga students like to hang out. We talked about hosting free yoga classes, and how to generate visibility in the press, on podcasts and other people’s blogs. Next we’ll talk about your own website.
Marketing your yoga studio with your website
The key in clients or yoga students finding you online is that people are able to find you through the content you put out. But if you’re not doing social media, how will people find you? Through your website of course! You don’t need an elaborate website to start with, but what is important is that you are regularly posting new content, and optimizing that content through SEO or search engine optimization, so that you’ll show up when people search for yoga classes in your area or your niche.
The easiest way to create new content on your website is to start a blog. If you don’t love writing, this content can also take the form of a podcast or YouTube channel, which you then post on your website as a blog feed. But I can’t stress enough the importance of having this content on something you own as well. Even though it’s unlikely that YouTube will disappear anytime soon, there’s always a risk of getting your account suspended or hacked. It will take a while before your website starts to generate traffic, but once it does, it will provide a steady stream of people who might become your students.
Starting a podcast to market your yoga biz
Starting a podcast, number 5 on the list of marketing your yoga classes or yoga studio without social media, is also a long game. But the podcast market is not yet as saturated as YouTube or social media, and more and more people are turning to podcasts so there is a lot of room for growth. Podcasting might not bring you any leads quickly (it might!) but it is a great way for people to get to know you. People who listen to podcasts say that it’s like they know the host personally, because they are in their ears, listening to their voice, they like the host’s personality, and keep coming back for more. The more someone likes you as a teacher, the more they are likely to attend your classes. And as I mentioned before, you can have your podcast feed and transcript on your website, so it will help with SEO.
Marketing yoga through word of mouth
Dare to ask
OK, number 6! Word of mouth. Word of mouth is still the best way to find new students. First of all, you have to ask. If you don’t ask your friends, family and current students to share, they might not think of it themselves. Many will be happy to do so, if you just ask. You can also make it easy for them, and provide the text and link you want them to share, and tell them you would be happy if they shared this, but also that they can change it or personalize it so it comes from them.
Start a referral program for your yoga studio
You can also create a referral program where your existing students can invite their friends and family to attend a first class for free or at a discounted rate, to give them just that little bit more incentive to share. Also, if people plan to come to your class together, it’s just that little bit more accountability to show up. You don’t want to stand up your yoga buddy, do you?!
Get reviews and testimonials
Also make sure that people can leave reviews. Either in a guest book after your class, online on your website, or if you have a yoga studio, on your Google Business page. Make sure you claim your business or studio on Google, and make sure the location and opening hours are up-to-date. Use keywords to describe your classes and the atmosphere in the studio, and invite people who came to your class to leave a review. Many people are more than happy to, if they’re asked and given clear directions on how to do so.
There are still other ways to network and market your yoga biz off social media, but I think I will leave these for another episode as it’s already getting quite long! I’m sure there’s already a lot in here that you can work with.
To recap, first we talked about creating a flyer or poster and leaving them in places where potential yoga students like to go. Second, you can host free yoga classes, and you can go listen to episode 3 about whether you should teach yoga classes for free. Number three, contacting your local press and doing PR, either by asking to provide valuable content or by taking out a paid ad. We also talked about optimizing your website and using SEO so that you can be found when people google for yoga classes in your area or niche. That was number 4. Number 5 was starting a podcast, so people feel they can get to know you personally. And finally number 6 was through word of mouth, simply asking friends, family and current students to share, but also by creating a referral program and making sure people leave you reviews.
And finally I wanted to finish with the following thought. Once you are bringing in people through all these outlets, you want to make sure they sign up for your email list. Whether they came through a flyer, newspaper article, blog post, podcast episode or one of the other ways people can find out about your yoga biz that is not through social media, you want them to sign up for your list. I have a podcast episode about why all yoga teachers need to have an email list, it’s episode 2 and and I also have a blog post about how to start an email list as a yoga teacher, I’ll link to both these resources below.
Once people are on your list, you can invite them to new classes, workshops, retreats, give them discounts, special offers etc. It’s the best way to stay in touch with your current students and potential students and grow your yoga biz. So don’t skip this step!
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Canva design software for non-designers
Episode 3: should you teach yoga for free?
Episode 2: Why all yoga teachers need an email list
Blog post: how to start your email list as a yoga teacher
If you want more information on how to work with me, I offer business coaching for yoga teachers, please visit my website www.yogabusinessgrowth.com