Marketing for Yoga teachers
As a yoga teacher, you have so much to offer your students. But how do you get more students through the door of your yoga studio? And once you have them, how do you keep them coming back?
Understanding marketing and avoiding the pitfalls yoga teachers fall into will dictate whether your yoga business is successful. By understanding and utilizing key marketing principles, you can set your yoga business up for success. In this blog post, we’ll share a marketing framework that all yogis can use to grow their teaching practice. Keep reading to learn more!
Yoga teachers – quite often their own worst enemy
It is rare that you see a cohort who so actively cannibalize their own business so regularly. We get it, if you are a new yoga teacher and you want to win over some clients quickly. Maybe the competition is stiff in your area so you knock down the price to get some attention. Well, guess what? You are destroying your own business and market.
Business cannibalization occurs when a business detracts from the sales of existing services by undermining the structure of the market. Effectively this is creating a race to the bottom. In the context of yoga businesses, this can lead to a decrease in overall revenue and profitability.
Throwing around discounts and freebies creates an expectation that your classes will be cheap going forwards too. Do you think you can take someone to €16 if you have pitched them at€5? …no that is unlikely. If they do decide to pay €16 in future, it will be to someone else as they perceive more value and higher quality from your €16 rival.
Charging very low prices means you are attracting price sensitive clients, not clients who love what you do. They will not show loyalty. You need to attract people to come to your classes who feel like you are the right teacher for them. Zone in on your niche. Find out what problems people have in your chosen niche. Communicate clearly why you are the best yoga teacher for them.
On the subject of discounts for service businesses (yoga is a service business), it is not good business practice to offer deep discounts and freebies to anyone who you can get in off the street. Ask yourself this question. If I was going to your yoga classes for the last 2 years and you are always doing offers far below normal price to entice new members, how do you think that will make me feel?
If you have a solid core of regular yogis, you should make absolutely sure that you understand why they are coming to you. What problem are you solving for them, what are they getting from your classes. You need to find more people exactly like them. Not only that, you need to leverage those loyal people to help you get more clients. These people are your advocates. They will probably happily refer clients to you if you incentivize them to do so. And in all fairness, are they not the ones who deserve a discount? They are your loyal customers. Tire kickers should not be getting the discounts, they are not committed and are less likely to value your offering.
Ask us about our tried and proven referral system to get new yoga students. Wellmarkit have tailored service for yoga teachers.
The power of the niche – marketing for yoga teachers
Many many yoga teachers do not understand how to market their services. “Yoga for all” resonates with nobody. “Vinyasa – all levels”… You cannot satisfy all levels at once. If you are at an advanced level and you go to a class where there are beginners, it will lack the flow & energy of an intermediate or advanced session. You will just alienate people if you are trying to catch all. If you try to be everything to everybody, you end up being nothing to nobody.
Having a clear and defined niche when it comes to marketing your yoga services is crucial for success. Not only does it make it easier to target potential clients, but it also makes it more cost-effective due to the fact that you don’t have to spend as much money on advertising or marketing.
When you have a clear niche, you can start targeting people who are more likely to actually join your classes and practice with you on a regular basis. This way, you don’t have to spend as much money trying to attract people who may not necessarily be interested in yoga or even in what you have to offer.
You also need to make sure that you are using the right language when it comes to marketing. Focus on benefits, not features. Try to make people understand why your services are unique and what kind of value they will get from them. This is how you will get more clients and keep current ones for longer periods of time.
Sell the problem you solve, not the service you offer – marketing for yoga teachers
This is a golden rule of marketing yet most often forgotten when people go about marketing their business. Don’t get caught up in yourself & what you have to offer. It is not all about you. You need to speak to the problem(s) that your target audience are encountering.
Highlight the benefits of attending your classes in the simplest way possible. Every feature included in your service should offer a clear benefit. So, instead of naming various features of your classes, focus on the key reasons why the customer will be better off with what you are providing.
It’s not enough to convince a potential customer that they need a solution and you have got it. You need to convince them they need exactly your solution. For that you need to place the focus on the unique attributes of your services that are best suited to remedy your potential customer’s pain points. If possible highlight how your solution differs from alternatives within the market.
You have to face the fact that customers will only buy if the pain of opening their wallets is less than the pain of having the problem.
Stop being all technical
Your average person does not know the difference between vinyasa, ashtanga, hatha etc. so be careful how you market a class. Most of the people who know the different types of yoga are already yogis and most likely have a practice or attend a regular class with a teacher they are happy with. As mentioned elsewhere in this post, it is super important to focus on the problem you are solving e.g. yoga for runners or yoga for stress relief. A beginner will connect with that message as they can identify with this problem and see you as the solution.
Define your audience – who are you trying to reach with your yoga teaching business?
Yoga teachers need to define their audience in order to promote their services. Knowing your target market and creating a strategy that appeals to them is key to build a successful yoga teaching business.
Having a specific demographic in mind allows you to tailor your message, making sure that it resonates with the right people. This can be achieved via market research, surveys, interviews or working with a marketing expert who works regularly with yoga businesses. You need to understand who your target audience is and what their needs and motivations are. After defining the demographic you want to reach, craft a message that speaks directly to them to reach the right people. This is easier said than done and the reason why good marketing support is invaluable. There are some great books on how to communicate problem – solution fit & make messages resonate with prospective clients. There are also great marketing frameworks (AIDA, Before-After-Bridge, PAS (Problem – Agitate – Solution) & even the Feature to Benefit methodology to guide in driving home the message that you the right yoga teacher to help the people in your niche.
Set marketing goals – what do you want your yoga business to achieve?
The next step is setting marketing goals that are aligned with your overall objectives and desired outcomes. If your goals are not clear, you cannot measure your progress over time. If you cannot measure progress, then you don’t know if you are heading in the right direction and if your marketing strategy is working or not.
Once you have identified your target audience and set marketing goals, the next step is to create a plan for how you will achieve those goals. This is where it is worth hiring the right expertise or else you will just have to go through lots of trial & error, waste time, resources and miss out of revenue you could otherwise have achieved by implementing a proven marketing plan that works for yoga teachers and studios.
Setting marketing goals and developing a marketing strategy should be done in conjunction with a marketing expert. Done well, it will pay you back in spades. What works for you will not be the same as for other yoga teachers as it totally depends on what your goals are, who exactly you want to target & which problems you want to solve for your ideal clients.
Doing this properly will mean you can easily find your ideal clients since your offering is so well defined. The greater the clarity in your niche(s) the lower your marketing cost will be and the higher your conversion rate of new clients will be. Why, because you, your offering and you solutions are matching with the problem(s) they wish to solve.
If you wish to step out from the crowd we will be happy to support you in filling your classes and spreading your message.
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