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So you’re looking to grow your business and you just wish someone would show you the dang map to do that. Am I right or am I right?
I feel like you’re saying “yes, Amanda, that’s what I need, get to it already” because I feel like I said this to many podcasters as I was listening to them. So I’m right there with you.
Unfortunately not one specific plan will work for everyone but I will say this - that when we look at a broad roadmap, that can happen.
Let’s think about this like a real map -- remember those paper things before we had GPS? Whether it’s paper or digital, a map shows you a general idea of how to get from one place to another.
And that’s what we’re talking about today. I’m going to share a general roadmap with you that will help you get from point a to point b. But please don’t think that the road is straight from a to b. That’s what we all wish for but that’s not a reality that we can have, unfortunately.
The road might be bumpy but the path is clear. We just have to take one step at a time and keep going.
Okay, okay, I’ll get off my “there’s no get-rich-quick soapbox” now but I just feel like it’s so dang important to share because there’s too much of that noise out there and I don’t want to contribute to it.
But I do want you to know that it’s possible to have the thriving yoga business of your dreams! That I 100% believe and I believe in you specifically.
Before I jump into all the milestones on this journey I do want you to know that this is the roadmap for my membership, Thrive. I say this because I like to be super transparent with things and I didn’t want to get to the end of this and say “and I cover all this inside Thrive”. I want you to know what the heck you’re in for here and what that is is that I will share the roadmap with you and you can go on with your bad self. Or you can jump into Thrive and I will walk with you on that journey. It’s up to you but now you know you’re invited!
Okay, on to the roadmap!
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #106). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Milestone #1: Quick Start Marketing
The best way for anyone to gain confidence within themselves is to have a quick win and I for sure want you to have this.
If you decide to join Thrive then you get marketing templates each month. But even if you don’t join Thrive you can still have a quick marketing win and that’s through social media templates. I’ve got 50 of them for you for FREE on my website. Go to amandamckinney.com/socialposts and grab them all. Then, please post them to feel that quick win.
The objective of this milestone is to
(1) give you a quick win and
(2) get you marketing.
So many people find marketing hard or icky that I want you to get started with marketing in a fun way. So just get started because that’s the only way you will learn.
Most of the time when I work with someone I will say “let’s look at your analytics” or “look back and see what performed the best” or “how did people find out about your last workshop” and if you didn’t do any marketing, we have no data to go off of. So start today! Trust me, a year from now you’ll wish you had started today.
Milestone #2: Set Your Business Up For Success
If you want to create or grow a thriving yoga business then you need to start with the foundation.
Just like building a house, you don’t start with painting walls first, you have to build the foundation and then the walls. While this might seem like a complete waste of time, I can guarantee you that it’s worth your time.
In this phase you want to set your business up for success financially and you want a strong mindset for those rough parts in the journey.
As for mindset, it’s all about knowing your true why. Yes, knowing your passion is important and you already know that - you have a passion for teaching yoga. That’s fantastic! And that passion will get you through days when you aren’t quite up to teaching because you’re having a crappy day.
But your why, the true, deep-down reason you want to be a business owner, that’s what’s going to help get you up off the bathroom floor when you’re crying because you didn’t fill any classes and you aren’t sure why the heck you’re doing this anymore.
Your passion will help you.
But your why will save your business.
Get super clear on why you want to run your own business. Why do you want that independence and freedom? Knowing this will help you get creative when you need it and it will truly set you up mentally with a strong foundation as a business owner.
Other things in this phase include setting up a legal entity for your business such as an LLC. And making sure you have insurance that covers you as a yoga teacher and setting agreements and waivers so you’re covered from a legal standpoint. All these things help in the long run as your strong foundation.
Milestone #3: Make Marketing & Offering Decisions
If you’re saying ‘yes I want to grow my business’ then you’re also saying yes to marketing. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be crappy. Marketing can and will be fun for you!
In this phase you will identify what offerings you want to have in your business and how you will invite people to that awesome party, or parties. Inside Thrive I share a sales funnel training where I teach on how to look at your business as one big funnel so all your offerings are connected and they allow students to easily flow from one to another.
If you aren’t in Thrive, think about what I just said and ask yourself “would it make sense for one student to sign up for multiple of my offerings?” and see how that sits with you currently.
If you’re teaching a ton of different classes at studios or on Zoom it might not really make sense other than if they just like you a lot - which I’m sure they do. But what you want to get to is this -- one offering leads to another where you go deeper with your teachings. For example, you can have group classes and then offer specialty workshops that focus on the same topic but are a higher price for a longer timeframe and more in-depth information.
Then really identifying what marketing channels you want to focus on is critical too because you don’t need to be everywhere. Pick just one social media channel and stick with that and you probably know I love email so I’d recommend that being another marketing channel too.
Once you know your offerings and what channels you’ll use, you can then make a marketing plan so you can have a plan to follow. Things are easier when you have a plan.
Milestone #4: Fill Your Offering
This is where everyone wants to start and don’t get me wrong, I want you to fill your offering or offerings too but if you don’t take a few other steps first, you will likely end up having to backtrack anyway.
But once you know what offering you want to fill, which on that note, I highly recommend focusing on growing one offering at a time because it’s just easier that way.
Once you know what offering you want to fill, it’s time to fill it. For this there are many ways you can go about this and inside Thrive there are a few different trainings I’ve shared on this but really, the answer is this --
What way feels like more fun for you?
Do you want to work slowly and create content for 3 months related to a specific theme and every now and then you mention a waitlist for your workshop coming up and then once it opens up, you basically fill it with the waitlist?
Or if that sounds like torture to you, do you want to invest money into Facebook ads to test messaging and see what works? Or grow your email list with a freebie?
Or do you want to focus on partnerships with others so they share you with their audience and allow you the space to pitch your offering?
There are endless possibilities on how you can fill your offering. None are going to work within minutes and work forever. You might find quick return with ads but if you don’t have revenue coming in, that’s not going to work for long. Or you might find that creating content is great at first but you want to slow down later and then switch to a different method.
You aren’t locked in with the method you choose and you might have a different method with each offering you have. It’s all an experiment but you have to get started in order to learn.
Milestone #5: Create Easy Consistency
When I say consistency, I mean consistent content, consistent revenue, consistent success, whatever that means to you.
Because remember, you’re creating YOUR thriving yoga business, not anyone else’s so it’s based on your definition of success.
When business owners are looking for consistency in anything we have to find processes and systems that work for us. This is where we might find a specific email platform that works best for us or a website platform that is better for us.
And before you roll your eyes at me too much when I talk about systems and processes, hang with me. You don’t have to be like me with this, this could mean you find a system of writing on a post it every Monday what your goal is for that week and then each day you read that post it and it helps you take action. If that system works for you, that’s awesome!
The key is to find what helps you be more productive and efficient, when you find that, things feel easier overall.
Milestone #6: Reflect & Adjust
Just like we have to look back and learn from mistakes and good things that happen in our lives, we have to do that with business too.
But as you can imagine, in order to reflect and adjust as we move forward, we have to have done some work to begin with so that’s why this is later on in the process. Sure you can learn every day as you implement things in your business but the big learnings happen when you take consistent action over time.
For example, when you open up registration for a specific workshop 4 times within a year and then look back on what worked and what didn’t - both in the actual workshop and for marketing purposes too - you can learn a lot! Because you have 4 different times of heavily promoting a specific offering to look back on and learn from.
Then you get to move forward and take those lessons and continue to adjust as you keep hosting that awesome workshop the following year. It’s an amazing process, just like you do with your yoga classes.
You take what went well and keep doing that -
And you leave behind the things that didn’t work as well.
This phase will happen for the lifecycle of your business as we will never be done learning.
Milestone #7: Thriving Success & Support
Remember when I said that you get to define success? Well, that’s where this step comes in.
Maybe success for you in this season of your business is to actually host your first workshop and have 5 students register. That’s awesome!
Maybe success for you looks like taking your business to the next level and paying yourself at least $2,000 a month. That’s awesome!
Maybe success for you looks like working 3 days a week on a schedule that works for you and your family. The actual income number isn’t the measure but the time spent with family or alone, is the measure. That’s awesome!
The key is to know what success looks like for you and then go after it!
And if you are inside or decide to join Thrive this is where the ongoing support happens in your business.
Because it’s not like a roadmap to a destination and you never revisit the other parts of that road again. You will likely cycle through Filling Your Offering, Creating Consistency, and Reflecting and Adjusting over and over again. And really you will likely revisit Marketing & Offering Decisions throughout your business too.
This is where we need a little extra support and where I like to show up. In those bumpy spots on the road where you aren’t quite sure where to go next.
If you see the visual roadmap that I created for Thrive (scroll up near the top of this post) you will see that there are hearts in between all the milestones and that’s definitely on purpose and not just a fun design element. Those hearts are reminding the members that there are Q&A calls each month and the private community to ask questions every day if you need to. Because we all have times where we need to phone-a-friend.
Please, please, please make sure that you have business friends in your life. Whether that’s inside Thrive, another membership, a mastermind, a group program, or connections you have online. It doesn’t matter who’s in your corner as long as you have some business owner friends who are there to support you along the way.
Friends and family are great and we need them too but there’s something about the entrepreneur’s journey that’s a little extra bumpy in places that are hard to explain. So find some biz besties so you have support.
Your next step
Identify where you are on this roadmap and work towards the next milestone. And if you find yourself a little lost or unsure, check out Thrive at amandamckinney.com/thrive. We would love to have you inside!
Until next time give yourself permission to build a thriving yoga business and grace along the way.
"Your passion will help you. But your 'why' will save your business. Get super clear on why you want to run your own business. Why do you want that independence and freedom? Knowing this will help you get creative when you need it and it will truly set you up mentally with a strong foundation as a business owner."
- Amanda McKinney
Ready to get started on the roadmap?
In Thrive VIP, my monthly membership for yoga teachers, you get social media and email templates, monthly Q&A calls, advanced trainings, business check-ins, a private community, and more. Thrive is a membership that can support you on every part of your yoga business journey - from the very beginning all the way to advanced challenges!