“Not every yoga teacher needs social media but every yoga teacher who’s looking to grow their yoga business does need marketing.” - Amanda
I’ve heard the phrase below many times but for some reason it really hit me hard the last time I heard it….
“Yoga teachers don’t need marketing”
As you can imagine I don’t believe this to be true whatsoever. I’m a Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers for goodness sake! But the last time I heard this phrase I really dug in. I was able to gather more context to the conversation and I also thought about my own experiences when working with or talking to yoga teachers. And it comes down to one thing:
Most people (not just yoga teachers) think of “marketing” as “social media” but marketing is so much more. More than social media. More than email. More than digital marketing.
“Did you know that when you say “I’m a yoga teacher” that this is marketing?” - Amanda
What is Marketing?
Let's look at definitions first.
According to the Dictionary, Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
According to the American Marketing Association, Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
But my favorite definition comes from Wikipedia when it says that Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships. It is the business process of creating relationships with and satisfying customers. Because marketing is used to attract customers, it is one of the primary components of business management and commerce.
The reason I like the Wikipedia definition is because of the focus on relationships. I believe that marketing is all about nurturing relationships that you have and cultivating new ones. This is how marketing can be authentic and true to you and not about selling.
What’s included in “Marketing”
Digital marketing includes anything on a screen. These are things such as email, social media, digital advertising on websites or newsletters or social media or digital billboards.
Print marketing includes anything printed. These are things such as flyers, business cards, brochures, postcards, thank you letters, or discount cards.
Verbal marketing includes anything spoken. And this is the way to grow your business! This includes word of mouth, networking, speaking at events, attending events and having people refer you.
Online vs. Offline Marketing
When it comes to marketing, it’s important to think about both on and offline marketing tactics. Yes, offline, meaning not on the internet!
Offline marketing is the number one source of new students or clients because of one thing: WORD OF MOUTH REFERRALS. Test me on this and go back to your list of clients or students, how did they find out about you? Did someone refer them to you? I bet that’s what happened because word of mouth is so powerful.
Think about this in your own life. What was the last restaurant that you visited and why were you compelled to go there? You probably heard about it from someone else. Or what about who cuts your hair? Did someone refer you to that person?
Word of mouth is powerful because we have trust in other people so when they tell us “hey, you should try this thing” we believe them and we are quicker to try it out. And this happens with your yoga offerings too.
But it’s important to incorporate both on and offline marketing to make the biggest impact on your business.
“We often think that if we create these offerings; private sessions, group classes and a workshop once a quarter; that people will just show up and that’s not true. You have to tell people about your offering, especially when it’s new.” - Amanda
How you can use both on and offline marketing
Here’s your simple formula to follow to use both marketing options: pick one channel online and one channel offline and focus on those two things.
For the online component, let’s say you pick Instagram as your channel and you decide to post 3 times a week. This is a great place to start and be consistent with your posting. And that’s what I want you to focus on - being consistent. From there, I want you to look back after you posted that week and see which of the 3 posts got the most engagement. Then elaborate on that more the following week.
You posted (1) about a specific pose, (2) about your typical day, and (3) your class schedule.
When you look back, you see that the most engagement came from when you talked about your day.
From there, I would encourage you to share something else about your typical day next week but also add in these two posts:
(1) when you fit in a quick yoga practice on a busy day for you (so you are still elaborating on the day but also incorporating yoga)
(2) if you have a themed yoga class that week and why you picked that theme (this way you’re still giving some behind-the scenes information but you’re also inviting them to a class)
For the offline component, maybe you say that you want to introduce yourself to someone new one time a week. This is a great goal! Set a commitment and make it happen.
If you introduce yourself to 1 person a week that’s 4 people a month
But over the course of a year you will have met 52 new people and invited them to your yoga offerings!
“When you talk to a student after class and share a helpful tip, that is marketing to your students. It’s about nurturing a relationship.” - Amanda
What about an online yoga business?
You’re not off the hook with offline marketing! I know you’re focused on working with people online, which is fantastic, but you can learn so much from in-person marketing.
“Do you know every single thing about your dream student? The answer is no because if you did, you would be filling up every class and making more money than you thought you could. You can always learn more about your dream student.” - Amanda
Take this opportunity to use your local area to learn. You can connect with people in-person faster than you can online.
Can you connect with in-person groups that are filled with your dream students
Is there someone you could take to coffee once a month to stay connected (your dream student)
How can you learn from people in your area who are your dream students?
Your next step
Choose one online and one offline marketing channel that you will commit to for the next 6 months. Make a promise to yourself to show up and do the work. Show up when you don’t feel like it. Show up and say the same thing for the 100th time. Show up, learn and market your yoga.
Until next time, give yourself permission to think about marketing in a broader way and grace along the way. Talk to you soon.
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