How NOT to Advertise Your Yoga Classes if You Actually Want to Attract More Students!

3 common mistakes yoga teachers make – and what to do instead! 

How many yoga teachers are there near where you live and want to teach? My guess is, quite a few! Even those of us, like me, who live in a town rather than a big city, will have at least a dozen or so other yoga teachers near them – and it’s very easy to let this frighten you into thinking there’s just no room for you…….. 

But that’s not true!

That’s the story you tell yourself to excuse yourself from getting out there and letting people know you exist!

Over my years of building a business I’ve learned the power of stories, and how this can not only set you apart from everyone else, but how it actually transforms you into a magnet for the students who resonate with your story.

​So many yoga teachers seem to have what I call a “personality transplant” when they talk about their business!

Let me explain.

Do a google search right now for yoga teachers in your area then take a good look at what’s there. Often what comes up first are the yoga directories, to which yoga teachers can submit their information for free, to let people know about their classes, and direct them to their website, if they have one.

All good so far – and I encourage new yoga teachers to get themselves on these directories, because. they DO work, in terms of getting you in front of someone who is right at that moment, specifically looking for a yoga teacher near where they live. You can’t get a warmer lead than that!! This is someone who is seriously looking – and ready to give it a go, so it makes sense to make what you write on these sites stand out. 

Here’s a truth:

Research shows you have 8 seconds or less to spark interest in your yoga classes – whether that’s on your website, or one of these directories. So there you are, with a prospective new student, keen to try out yoga, and you might be the perfect fit for them... but the message you put out doesn’t tell them that, and they pass you by!

You just lost a prospective student who might have stayed with you for years!

The mistakes yoga teachers make on directory sites (or even their website) include:

  • No picture

    Seriously, how lazy can you get? How long does it take to upload a picture? Our eyes look at images first - and as the saying goes - a picture tells a thousand words, so taking a little bit of time to think about the image you choose is worth it.
  • You have a picture – but it’s of you! 

    A picture of you can be nice – but it’s not first impression material. It doesn’t tell them anything about whether the yoga you teach is actually right for them. They want to know, (quickly if possible!) the answers to what matters to them. Because every prospective student has ONE major reason for suddenly being motivated to think yoga might be a good idea for them, as well as a few other reasons of course – but usually there is something spurring them on that made them decide now was the time to take action and look for a teacher.  

    Whether they’re stressed out at work and need to learn how to unwind; whether they’re suffering from an injury; feel they’re losing flexibility; want a good workout or want to build strength as an athlete… something has made them take time out of their day to look for a yoga class – and if that image (and perhaps the branding of that image too) helps them see immediately this is fitting their prime reason, they’ll check you out a bit more and click through to your website or maybe even ring you – which is what you want them to do right?

    I call this “prime real estate” in marketing terms – because this space is the most important if you want to capture their attention.

    FAR better is an image which reflects the type of people you help – so if your classes are for pregnancy – get a pic of a pregnant woman on there! If it’s athletes or runners – get a pic to match… you get the picture!
  • Finally, you go “bland.” 

    What do I mean by that?

    You talk about offering “yoga for everyone”. You talk about the dates/times of your classes. You talk about the style of yoga you teach (as if everyone knows what that means!)

People connect to people who they feel they resonate with. It’s all about emotions…. your prospective yoga student has to look at the information about what you offer and think, “Whoah! That sounds like a perfect class for me… let me find out more!”  

Your SOLE aim on the first page of your website, or on the directory, is to get them thinking like that, so they click through to find out more, or even better e-mail or ring you.

But if you haven’t captured their attention in those first few seconds you’ve lost them – probably forever. And try to inject some personality into it. I’ll talk about this more on another post because it’s a really important part of ensuring you resonate with your target audience, but, for now, just know that a resume of your qualifications and some bland generalisations and common phrases about how yoga helps people is simply not good enough to hook them in to wanting to know more.

Take a look at these examples I picked up from a simple search on a yoga directory about teachers near me. This is the exact copy (with the places taken out to retain anonymity) that any searcher would see before they clicked through to learn more:

  • British Wheel of Yoga qualified yoga teacher offering classes in the “x” area. Hatha Yoga suitable for beginners as well as those with experience. 
  • A member of the British Wheel of Yoga and Senior Teacher with Yoga Alliance UK. Gillian has practiced yoga since 1999. She undertook her…
  • Yoga is like music, the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and harmony of the soul that creates the symphony of...
  • Join me for a mindful, flowing practice using the breath to dictate the cadence of your practice. Yoga is the unity of the mind and...

None of these teachers had a suitable image either. 

Can you see how this is just using the rhetoric 90% or more of yoga teachers think they have to use?

Is there anything at all there likely to make someone sit up and feel as though it’s talking to them?

Contrast these examples with the teacher who had written this:

Baby bumps yoga: Gentle yoga classes for pregnant women, and new mum and baby. 

(And her image was a simple outline drawing of a pregnant bump! Immediately you know who this is for!)

She was the only teacher out of the whole first page (apart from me!) who immediately told the searcher whether her classes were potentially right for them or not! 

If you’re reading this and realising you’ve fallen into the same trap – think about how you can speak more directly to your target market. And if you’re not sure who your target market is, then you’ll find a number of resources and articles to help you with that here:  

So make sure the first thing your prospective yoga students see on the directory or your website is what your classes will do for them. I can’t emphasise enough how important this is. This is NOT about YOU. This is all about THEM.  Put yourself in your ideal student’s shoes, and speak directly from your heart to theirs – I promise you, it’ll make a massive difference.

If that first impression hits the jackpot in terms of what they are looking for, they’ll investigate further, and you’re one step closer to an enquiry and a new student.

Good luck! 



Actions you can take

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