How 2 Boys Catching Birds can Help you Fill your Yoga Classes and Avoid the “Feast-Famine” Cycle
Do you struggle trying to fill your yoga classes?
Over recent months I’ve spoken to dozens of yoga teachers and one thing comes up time and time again – the problem of erratic numbers at classes, resulting in the all too common cycle of “feast-famine.”
There’s no doubt, attracting new students to your classes and then keeping them can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle. It can be disheartening to have classes with 5-6 students one week and just 1 student the next.
That’s not been an issue for me since I started my yoga teacher business – but it wasn’t always the case.
Being a yoga teacher and running a successful yoga teaching business is not the first business that I’ve ever run. I started running a business 16 years ago now when I was 50, as a leadership and management coach and I'll be honest, I struggled.
I decided that I needed some help. That I had to stop paying more money to try and make me a better coach, until I could actually start getting some money in from coaching. Otherwise I wasn't going to get the kids through university, never mind, or put food on the table.
So I took a business mentor, and she taught me this story that I want to share with you. This story helped to change my life. It turned my business around first time round and it's the reason why, when I started the yoga business, it became successful very quickly.
So pay attention to the following story of the 2 boys catching birds………..
Imagine two boys in a garden, and they are there to try and catch birds.
One of the boys decides that his strategy for catching the birds is that he's going to buy the biggest net that he can get, in the hope that he might get more than one bird at a time. Then he's going to run around the garden like crazy every time he sees a bird, and try and use this big net to catch them.
That's his strategy.
It doesn't work very well and he ends up exhausted from all the running around.
The other boy chooses a different strategy. He’s noticed there seems to be a lot of sparrows flying around in that garden, so he goes down to the local shop, and he asks the guy at the counter, "Is there any bird seed in particular that attracts sparrows?" The guy sells him this bird seed that he says, "They'll love this. They'll absolutely love this."The second boy goes back to the garden, and instead of running round the garden chasing the birds, he finds a quiet spot. He puts the bird seed on his hand, he holds out his hand, and he waits for the birds to come to him.
Most yoga teachers, use the strategy of the first boy.
They run around like headless chickens trying to attract anyone they can to their classes.
They try a poster or two; ask friends or stick up a few posts on social media and hope someone will come.
They're just all over the place trying to attract anyone and anybody, and they run with that.
It tires them out, and it doesn't work. It’s the difference between what we call promoting or positioning.
The first boy is promoting all over the place, trying to spread the net wherever he can to try and pull people in. There’s no strategy; just promoting, running around, trying to get the business.
The second boy is what we call in marketing terms positioning. He isn’t trying to catch any bird – he knows EXACTLY who he wants to attract, and he POSITIONS himself so he can attract the birds he really wants to catch.
And that is what you, as a yoga teacher need to do.
It's about getting really clear about who you are as a yoga teacher, and what you stand for.What it was that really brought you to yoga, and who are the people that you really want to teach the most? The truth is, the minute you start to get clear about that, the minute you start to be successful.
I just want to ask you a question.
Which of those boys are you behaving like at the moment in, in terms of trying to get your yoga business off the ground?
Are you the one that's running around trying all sorts?
Or are you just taking a step back and thinking, "Who do I actually want to attract? Who am I as a yoga teacher? Who do I actually want to attract?"
And then thinking what is the bird seed? Your bird seed will be the messages that you need to be getting out to try and attract those people to you.
I get people who come to my classes, or they ring me up with an inquiry and say, "I was doing a google search. I came across your website. You sound absolutely perfect for me."That's because I've positioned myself. I've chosen to be the boy in the garden who's taken a stand, who's taken a position. Who says, "These are the students I want to work with. These are the people that I resonate most with. These are the people who I connect with most at a deeper level."
So who you are you?
Are you the yoga teacher with the net, or do you want to be the one who positions yourself and draws students to you?
I hope it’s the former!
Your action step:
Want more help, support and ideas to help you grow a thriving yoga teacher career?
Seriously – trying to build any kind of business or career is so much harder on your own. Find someone – even if it’s not me – who can help you move forward. Who believes in you and who has the skills you might lack right now to see the best way forward.
I hope you’ll join us!
Till the next time