WARNING! What they don’t tell you about taking your yoga business online. (Part 1 of what you need to know about making online a part of your yoga teaching strategy.)

Do you dream of building an online yoga business, instead of, or as an adjunct to the more
traditional yoga teaching : taking classes, running workshops or retreats and teaching private

There’s a growing interest in online businesses of all types – and yoga is no exception; and it can look an extremely attractive proposition that’s for sure.

This is such a big topic, I’m splitting this into two articles, in the hope you get a chance to see it from as rounded and honest a perspective as possible.

First of all – let’s think about the benefits. What attracts us to considering teaching yoga online?

There’s certainly no shortage of people out there telling you it’s the place to be. There are a growing number of yoga training courses from online yoga teachers which are offering to teach you the way to become successful on line – and I’ve seen some of these courses – and some of them do look really helpful.

But I feel there’s a catch – that there are some things you need to know about taking your yoga business online, if you want to seriously make this work in the quickest, most effective way.

The truth is, building a successful online yoga business is a bit like building a successful  offline yoga business:
It takes time; know-how and following a process in order to make it work.

Remember how excited and enthusiastic you were when you completed your yoga teacher training? How you couldn’t wait to get started and teach all these amazing students that were going to come your way? How you were going to share the benefits of this practice you have come to love, and make a positive difference to the lives of others?

I have spoken to too many yoga teachers for whom that initial enthusiasm has waned a little (or a lot!), when they have found the reality is not quite as rosy as they first imagined. That’s why I do what I do – that’s why the first and most important thing I teach my students is how to build their confidence and business offline so they can then grow and scale up from there. (See my yoga teacher business foundation course: 30 days to 30K as a yoga teacher)

You see, I genuinely believe that, for the majority of yoga teachers, especially those who are newly qualified, inexperienced and/or with limited marketing and technical experience, online is NOT the best place to start your yoga teacher career.

But it COULD be part of a longer term strategy – once you have honed some basic business skills.

So let’s start with why you might want to consider it as part of a longer term strategy:

What are the benefits of taking your yoga teaching online?

Well, there certainly are a few – for both you and your prospective students! Including:

5 benefits of teaching yoga online for YOU include:

  1. You can work from anywhere in the world.
    Once you have your programmes and services online you are no longer tied to living or
    working or teaching from a fixed place. For those who love the idea of travelling whilst still being able to teach and benefit the lives of their students – it’s an extremely attractive proposition. Even if your offerings include live sessions, technology such as Skype and software such as Namastream make it easy to stream your teaching right into people’s living rooms!
  2. You can reach a bigger audience and you’re NOT limited by time
    If you, like me, have some rather lofty goals to reach more people with your message and your teaching, because you know the benefit it can bring, there is absolutely no doubt, online is the place to be. With the best will in the world, when you teach in a studio, community hall or any other physical space, face to face – you are limited by the time you have available and the size of the space in which you teach.
    With online – there are no such barriers – you could literally be teaching hundreds of
    students at any one time. This is about scaling up – about growing your influence and your reach. Pretty awesome I guess!
  3. You can generate income while you sleep! Stop trading your time for money….
    This is probably one of the most attractive benefits for us as yoga teachers: because when you create online offerings for your students and you have these set up to work without you being there, you really do have the ability to make money while you sleep! With an online yoga teaching business, no longer do you need to trade your time for money:When you take your yoga business online, you do the work once and then get paid, paid, paid.
  4. There is no ceiling on your income
    With a bricks and mortar, face to face business, you are limited in so many ways – but with an online business, anywhere in the world where people are interested in, and practice yoga, is a potential market place for you.
  5. You can significantly grow your reputation and your influence in the marketplace as well as diversify into other areas.
    Look at Yoga with Adrienne…..a perfect example of someone who started small, but is now featuring on the front cover of Om magazine and liaising with manufacturers to create her own clothing brand.
    Literally – the sky is the limit – IF you can build a big enough audience who like what you do.

And of course – there are benefits for your students too.

They no longer have to leave the comfort of their own home to learn.

They can learn from teachers they might never have access to normally, because of geography or financial consideration.

So there literally is a win-win.

But it’s easy for yoga teachers to get carried away with all these potential benefits:: to think online is where they need to be, and to focus their efforts in this area even when they don’t have much experience or have had an opportunity to build their own community.

I believe the most successful online yoga teachers are those who build a successful OFFLINE presence first, and then begin to take what they do online.

I believe that too many yoga teachers get sucked into the “dream” and the thought of all these benefits, without realising that – just as there is a process and work to be done to build an offline yoga business, there is a process and work to be done to build an online yoga business.

What the online marketers emphasise is the benefits – of course they do.

I agree with them. ALL these benefits can and do come to those who are successful.

Where I feel slightly uncomfortable about these messages is that they can lead aspiring yoga teachers into focusing their efforts online – even when they have little experience as a yoga teacher and even less experience or knowledge of marketing and technology.

In part 2 of this blog post I’d like to share with you the messages the online marketers are not so quick to tell you, and why I believe you should build your OFFLINE yoga business FIRST – with a mid-term strategy to scale online once you’ve got the foundations in place.

Good luck!

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