WARNING! What they don’t tell you about taking your yoga business online. (Part 2 of what you need to know about making online a part of your yoga teaching strategy.)
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. In the first article (Click here to see part 1 of taking your yoga business online) I looked at the benefits of an online yoga business – and there are a number of them, so don’t get me wrong. I’m not against building an online yoga income stream; I’m in that space myself! What I just wish is that those advocating building an online yoga business gave you the full, rounded picture and not just the sanitised version which takes out some of the pitfalls you might just need to understand and be prepared for.
I’m committed to developing resources and support for yoga teachers to build their yoga business as quickly and effectively as possible, and in the best way for them. I’m also committed to trying to avoid the hyperbole, exaggeration and sometimes misinformation about what’s entailed, because glossing over these things means people’s hopes get dashed when they realise it’s not as easy as they thought to really make it work.
So if you were thinking about focusing your time, energy and money into developing an online yoga business, here’s the things I think you need to know – but they won’t always tell you!
- It’s competitive out there online!
Do you know, I get teachers I work with all the time telling me they have “too much
competition” in their area. They feel vulnerable, anxious and a bit intimidated even, at
wondering how they are supposed to “compete” against all the other yoga teachers in their area.
They look around, and they start comparing themselves to these other teachers – and often find themselves lacking. These other teachers seem to have been going for longer; they “have their act together”, etc, etc…and this running commentary in their head that they can’t compete crowds out their confidence in their own ability – sometimes to the point where it literally paralyses them from getting started at all.
But here’s the deal: If you thought you had a lot of competition in your area
OFFLINE, you ain’t seen NOTHING to the competition you’ll face ONLINE!
The stark reality is there are literally thousands of videos on you-tube alone with yoga
teachers trying to get an online presence. How are you going to stand out amongst them?
There are thousands of yoga teachers a on Instagram – often what I call the “magazine
image” of yoga: slim; young and doing acrobatic poses in dangerous places – all vying for
So if you don’t know how to handle the competition offline, be sure you’re going to feel
even more pressure trying to compete online.
- Finding a niche and understanding the basic principles of marketing becomes even MORE important when you want to grow an online yoga business.
Anyone who works with me to grow their business learns that there is a process they can
take which is more likely to get them where they want to be more quickly as well as a
process for ensuring they are not scrambling about every month trying to avoid the “feast-famine” cycle so many yoga teachers face – where they have full classes one week – and hardly anyone the next.
If you haven’t got absolute clarity about your niche and who your target market is offline – you’ll flounder online.
- If you can’t currently generate sustainable income from your off line teaching – you’re probably going to struggle to generate income online.
Seriously – I tell my students all the time – get good at selling to the students ten miles from where you live. Because when you do – you’ll learn a LOT! That experience will become invaluable to you in terms of helping you pick the best strategy for you online, and you’ll start with a bank of marketing and business skills as well as knowledge about your target market which will mean you can hit the ground running when you go online.
- If you have no clear idea of what you’re actually going to “sell” online – be prepared for another whole world of potentially wasted time!
Truly – I’ve seen people take months (or even longer!) setting up an “online programme” or product. They get dead excited – after all the hard slog developing it, they’re as proud as punch – they think it’s just what people need – and they put it on a web page on their
website and wait……..and wait……….and wait……
It doesn’t sell.
My heart sinks. Because I know this hasn’t been tested.
WARNING! NEVER, EVER, EVER spend hours creating a product to sell online until you’re sure you have a market for it.
Start small – test – and if you’ve actually been teaching offline – guess what – you’ll have a FAR better chance of creating something based on what people want – instead of what you think they need – which it turns out they don’t want after all!
Please don’t do that to yourself.
- If you don’t like writing – online is probably not for you!!
It’s not just creating and writing new courses and offerings you’re going to have to do if
you’re going to sell online, there’s what I call the “content monster” to feed!
Making sure I have enough content to put out there is like feeding my Labrador!! They have never had enough! They’re always hungry!! Seriously – I post 5 days a week on my social media platforms!
You need to be writing articles and content for blog posts, for social media regularly. And
when I say regularly – I mean weekly – even daily!
Don’t like the sound of that? Then think seriously before you rush into the online world!
- Be prepared for the jargon of the online marketing world!
If the terms “squeeze pages”; “lead magnets”, Sales funnels; split testing – (just for
starters!) have you scratching your head wondering what the heck they are – you’re going to have a VERY steep learning curve before you can even begin to make a sale!
And ALL of this stuff needs to be in place before you can make a single penny from your
- Setting online marketing up is complex and time-consuming and consumes financial resources in the beginning.
Are there some whizz kids who have made millions from a single squeeze page? Yes!
In my experience they are as rare as hen’s teeth – and they are the smartest geekiest
(mostly men!) I know!
Whereas all successful online marketers I know have taken years to get to the position
where this business really works on autopilot for them, bringing in constant streams of
In my experience, the average yoga teacher has limited skill or knowledge or (even more
importantly – desire) to spend their days building sales funnels; designing lead magnets;
setting up automations and thank you pages; writing reams of copy for e-mail sequences
and all to sell something they’re not even sure what that might be!!
Come on now!!
Seriously – is offline yoga teaching sounding more appealing at least to begin with?!
- Online marketing will require strong technical skills (or the ability to pay others to do that for you.)
If you’ve read this far – then you know that there’s quite a bit of stuff to get in place.
You cannot create a successful online yoga business on your own.
You WILL need help – otherwise you’ll become overwhelmed.
The truth is, every successful online marketer I know has a team of people to help them get all this stuff done. You focus on designing the copy, the products and offerings, and writing articles for your blog and your community – and you delegate the scheduling, the setting up of the sales funnels, the Facebook advertising or other tasks to people who can do this for you.
You might be able to do this on your own in the beginning – but honestly – trying to do it all on your own means you are slower at launching your online offerings – slower to bring in the cash and more at risk of burn-out. Be prepared to hire people to take some of this off your shoulders.
Hopefully, by now, you’re getting the message there’s quite a lot to do to build a successful and sustainable online yoga business!
Like most things in life, the potential gains are proportionate to the risk and effort it takes to set this up – and they can indeed be massive. Yes – it is possible to make 6 figure launches. Yes – it is possible to make millions……
But these online marketers did NOT do this overnight!
Building an online yoga business is competitive; it’s a lot of work – and it is, I believe the slowest way to cash in the bank.
I believe, when you’re just starting out trying to build your yoga business it is NOT the best place to begin – especially if you have no marketing experience, and no existing community who already love what you do.
I also believe – if you want the quickest way to bringing money into the bank to pay your bills,
teaching offline is your best option.
And finally, I believe setting up an online yoga business isn’t for everyone.
Some yoga teachers just want to be able to generate, as I do from working with my students, a sustainable income which comfortably pays the costs of their teaching and their own personal bills, (with a bit besides!) and which perhaps funds further training. These teachers have other things in their lives – children, partners, other hobbies – or just a desire for balance – which means building a successful offline yoga teacher business is FAR more suited to their goals.
Don’t get carried away with the lure of what some would have you believe is “easy money.”
In my experience – there is no such thing!
As I said in part 1 of this article – there ARE potentially massive gains to be made from taking your yoga teaching business online – BUT it is not for everyone, and don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quicker way of generating sustainable income than teaching offline.
In my 30 days to 30K as a yoga teacher course I teach teachers how to build a successful offline business first. Know that within a 10 mile radius of where you live there are prospective students for whom you are the perfect teacher. It’s far easier to find them – and generate cash – literally within weeks – than it is to generate sustainable income online in a short space of time.
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.
Get good at making money offline – and then you’re in a much better position to add online to your income stream.
Actions you can take:
- Read the first article on this topic and find out the benefits of building an online yoga
business – if you do decide to take the bull by the horns and give it a go! Just make sure you don’t go into it with rose coloured specs!
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
- Join our FB group; share your thoughts on this article and your own experience of taking a yoga business online. Have you tried it? How did it work? What were the key challenges you faced?
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