Someone told me this joke:
Q. What’s the difference between a Yoga Teacher and a Large Vegetarian Pizza?
A. A Large Vegetarian Pizza can feed a family of four.
Running a yoga business is risky, even if you’re doing something you believe in. To be a yoga teacher (kids or adults) takes much more than yoga, you’ve got to learn how to fill your classes and get people to try your products if you want to keep at it. Yoga takes courage, skill, and perseverance and today more than ever before, business takes the same qualities.
For the last few weeks I’ve been calling on these qualities getting ready for my Kids Yoga booth at the Yoga Show. It’s an investment of over $700 that I’m betting will pay off.
So I thought I’ll shed some light on the less glamorous side of teaching yoga, the business side, with these marketing strategies. They’ve helped me get focused for the yoga show. I hope they help you reach more people with your yoga too!
The Secret Headline that Gets Students
One of the first yoga classes I taught back in 1998 was at a new age gift store with a yoga studio in the back. I wish I still had a copy of the first yoga class poster I made because it is probably one of the worst posters ever. It was a drawing of a man in his underwear meditating in easy pose with thick lines coming out from all around him. I wanted the poster to express how yoga gave energy and vitality. But when my friend looked at it she asked why needles were poking into him. Unfortunately I had been using this poster for a couple months. Who knows how many people I scared away with those spikes?
I didn’t know how to make a poster or to test the poster before I used it. I never had more than four students in my class. If I wanted to keep teaching I had to learn how to advertise, and learn quickly!
But if you’re looking for one secret headline to fill your classes, any marketing book will tell you, it doesn’t exist. Marketing is about connecting with your customer and the only way to do that is to know who they are.
Who is your customer?
I make different posters for each class. Sometimes I’ll have two posters for the same product, depending on who I’m sending it to. My mail out to schools and daycares for kids yoga teacher training emphasizes the parts of the course that would appeal to teachers. The poster I put up in a Yoga Studio for the same course emphasizes how kids can get the benefits of yoga that adults love.
The last few weeks preparing for the Yoga Show I’ve had to think about who will be walking by my booth. It’s someone who already likes yoga, mostly women, many mothers, and many experienced yogis and yoga teachers.
Preparing for the Yoga Show, I put less emphasis on convincing them of the benefits of yoga and more focus on how we can help them teach yoga to kids.
Here’s one of my banners (its about 50 cm x 90 cm (1.5 ft x 3 ft)):
One of my banners for the Yoga Show booth
Stand Out from the Crowd
Next I want to stand out.
At the community centre I’m in a crowd of other kids classes. What can yoga offer that swimming lessons, gymnastics, and basketball don’t offer? We all help kids get healthy, but only yoga teaches kids to be relaxed and handle anxiety more effectively.
But at the Yoga conference, the crowd is already relaxed and anxiety free. I’ll stand out from all the other booths with our huge “Children’s Yoga” headline and our big pictures of Kids Yoga. Anyone who walks by will know instantly what we’re about. Yoga won’t stand out at a yoga conference, but Kids Yoga will.
Make them an Offer they Can’t Refuse
Finally this tip is one that never gets old. There are some words that are used as much in advertising now as they were one hundred years ago. These are words like: Free, New, Sale, and Guaranteed. When people understand that they have nothing to lose and something to gain they are much more likely to say “Yes!”
The 30 Day Money Back Guarantee on Yoga Man lets people know that if they invest in the training and don’t like it, they can return it. No one has returned it because it is a useful and thorough training, but they don’t have to wonder or worry about it because of the guarantee.
Do you have an offer people can’t refuse?
Buy Yoga Man Get the Frog Yoga Alphabet FREE
For the Yoga Show I’ve decided to go with an offer that’s hard to refuse: FREE!
Buy Yoga Man Get the Frog Yoga Alphabet FREE
sale runs Friday April 15 – April 20, 2011
Only at the Yoga Show and on the YoungYogaMasters.com website
with a 30 day money back guarantee it if you aren’t satisfied
I hope getting the Frog Yoga Alphabet free will turn a few heads. The printable coloring book will be extremely helpful for teachers. My next blog post will include the full details of the sale for both so get ready for Young Yoga Masters first Special Sale.
Since all marketing requires testing and tweaking, I’ve made an educated guess at how to reach my customers. I’ll be able to give you some updates after the show on how this plan actually worked out. Wish me luck!
What do you do for your marketing? Do you have a marketing plan? Are you happy with it?
P.S. those who have already bought Yoga Man will automatically receive this show special in the mail as a Thank You for supporting Young Yoga Masters. But after this sale ends, I don’t know when or if this offer will come again. So get ready to take advantage of the savings next weekend.
Upcoming Events – Please Join Us:
April 17: Teach Yoga Kids Love Presentation:I’ll be co-teaching this 30 minute presentation on Sunday April 17, 3:30 – 4 pm at the Garden Stage of the Toronto Yoga Show. I’d love to see you there.
April 15 – 17: A Children’s Yoga Network: Young Yoga Masters will at booth 114 at The Yoga Show in Toronto (Metro Convention Centre). Come by to talk to Aruna in person and enter to instantly win one of the many great prizes we’ll be giving away. You can also get our Show Special: Buy Yoga Man and Get the Frog Yoga Alphabet FREE!
May 14 – 15 - Kids Yoga Teacher Training Toronto - registration is now open and the course is filling ( half full now). Register Early to secure your spot!
Bring Yoga Yoga Masters to your area – This training is like no other! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to bring the Young Yoga Masters training to your area.