Marketing Yoga Classes: Avoiding This Mistake Will Fill Your Yoga Classes
So, you’ve decided you’d like to run your own yoga classes instead of working for a yoga studio or gym? There’s no doubt, if you get this right, you will earn more than the gym or yoga studio would pay you and you will probably find it more rewarding. But ensuring you get enough students to fill your class so you cover your costs and have money left to pay yourself for your time will require marketing your yoga classes – letting people know who you are, and more importantly, why they should come to you instead of the other yoga teacher at the gym or down the road.
The problem is I see so many yoga teachers making mistakes in how they let people know about their classes – and one of them in particular is guaranteed to keep them with small class sizes and hustling to try to keep those yoga classes going.
The truth is, it is not enough to just find a hall and put up a few posters
and hope people will turn up!
That saying “if you build it they will come”…is not reality!!!
Sorry to burst your bubble if that’s what you thought!
So, what’s the biggest mistake I see?
You talk about YOU and the style of yoga you teach on any advert or flyer.
There’s a saying most good salespeople know which is absolutely critical to be successful in ANY kind of selling: we don’t buy features – we buy benefits. (And, if the word “selling” makes you feel uncomfortable, remember you are selling all the time – whether it’s selling the idea to your child they need to tidy up their room, persuading your husband to go to that nice restaurant for dinner or inspiring students to make yoga a habit which will improve their health. Selling is NOT a dirty word – especially if done in an authentic way and what you’re selling will benefit the other person).
What do I mean by “We buy benefits, not features?” Here’s 3 examples:
1) The car salesman tells you the car you’re considering has a big boot. That’s a feature.
Then he goes on to say, “so you’ll have more than enough room to put all the stuff your daughter will need for university in there when you’re ferrying her to Uni and back!” That’s a benefit!
(The other thing which is great about that is this salesman has taken the time to find out about what matters to me – and my daughter is one of those things!).
2) The travel agent tells you this holiday has one week on a cruise and the second week in a hotel. That’s a feature.
Then she goes on to say, “So no more arguments between you and your hubby about wanting to just chill or traipsing round sightseeing. This way you get the best of both worlds in a relaxed, unpressured way.” That’s a benefit.
3) You advertise Hatha Yoga – that’s a feature.
You advertise “Yoga over 45 – a gentle approach for those in mid-life or later years to increase flexibility and help you stay fitter and stronger for longer.
or “Yoga for bikers or runners” - A programme designed to increase endurance, strength and prevent injury.
or “Yoga for mums to be“– keeping Mum and baby relaxed, easier labour and healthier baby.
You may well be teaching Hatha yoga in all three of those classes above. But, if each of the above was a flyer or an advert or on your website, or even an answer to the eternal question “what do you do?” – the moment the people who fit those descriptions saw or heard your message, they’d think “Oh that’s me! I need some of that!! Where does this person teach? I need to go!”
The other truth is, generally, most people don’t care about you. They’re not really interested in your experience or who you qualified with. Most of them assume you know what you’re doing/are qualified. (Not always correct I know, but this will soon come to light and they won’t hang around for long if that’s the case).
Don’t make the focus of any marketing you do about YOU.
This is ALL about THEM.
MY TIPS FOR GETTING THIS RIGHT:
Focus as much as you can on two things:
1. Who is this class really for? (And, please, please, please don’t say everyone!). Honestly, ask any yoga teacher who’s had to manage a class with a 20-something wanting Ashtanga and an 80-year-old with a bad back what a nightmare this is for them AND the students!!).
Getting clear about who your class is really for is what we call In business knowing your customer avatar. (See a simple exercise to help you work out your customer avatar on the Free resources page).
The bottom line is the most successful businesses in the world know 2 things:
Who is my customer?
What do they really want?
And they focus on this with all their might – on an ongoing basis – not just once. Because their customer “type” might change.
Look at the retail outlets struggling right now because they didn’t see their customers were moving to buy more online and now it’s too late.
2. What is this customer/student really hoping to get out of this?
Think back to the example of the 20-something and 80-something together in the same room.
They’ll probably both leave feeling a sense of dissatisfaction. Chances are, they won’t come again.
The 80-year-old might think yoga is just not for him (and we all know nothing could be further from the truth!).
The youngster will look elsewhere.
The truth is – they both want different things.
I passionately believe yoga is for EVERYbody – young, old, overweight, thin, fit or struggling with illness or pain.
BUT NOT EVERY CLASS IS FOR EVERYBODY – NOR SHOULD IT BE.
We do ourselves and our students a disservice if we fail to understand what they really want. Because the truth is, yoga could probably help them – and we might be just the person to do that.
So, I hope I’ve convinced you to take some time to think a little more carefully about who it is you most want to serve. Who do you have the most affinity with?
Who are those people? What are their fears/worries/hopes/aspirations? What are they looking for when they think about coming to your yoga class? What might put them off?
The more you understand who you want in that room, the happier you and they will be.
They will come along and feel they are in the company of like-minded souls.
They will not feel out of place, silly, awkward or stupid.
They will want to come again……………….
And they will benefit.
Isn’t that what this is all about?
YES – this will take some time.
NO– you can’t just stick up any old flyer or website. Your brain might just hurt a little bit trying to get this message right!
BUT I promise you, knowing your student avatar WILL pay dividends for you down the line.
You will gather a “tribe.” You will become known as an “expert” in that area. And you WILL fill your classes with more ease and less hassle than you ever thought possible.
Seriously – isn’t it worth that effort now?
Actions you can take:
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