What 99% Of Yoga Teacher Training Programmes Don’t Tell Or Teach You – But Should!
With yoga becoming increasingly popular, literally thousands of yoga teacher training programmes are springing up all over the place, charging students a lot of money to learn how to teach yoga - and some of those schools are very good and a wonderful experience. However, what too many don’t do so well is give you guidance on how to market yourself and set up as a yoga teacher after the first flush of excitement has passed and you’re back to the normal daily routine.
If you took your yoga teacher training because you really want to help bring it to more people through teaching, then a little more guidance on how to market yourself would be extremely useful would it not – particularly on some of the first steps to take to get yourself out there and established, and to start attracting students who love what you do.
(Haven’t yet taken your yoga teacher training but thinking about it and not sure if you want to teach or not? Then before you invest any money please read this blog post! “Warning! 3 questions you MUST answer before you invest thousands in a yoga teacher training programme!”)
You see – learning a new skill, and then finding a way of making that new skill generate a living for you, takes effort, other skills you may not already have, and a willingness to do something some yogis may find daunting – marketing yourself. Yoga teacher training will start you off with the skills you need to teach, but it won’t find your students for you!
Oh, you may be given some tips about insurance, or setting up your CV to take to gyms or yoga studios – but real, solid, practical steps to help you generate a reasonable living from your craft is generally not on the agenda. (And the truth is, hustling for gym or yoga studio jobs is not going to earn most of us a “reasonable living.” They can be a good place to start to build your confidence – but if you hanker after developing your own following and being your own boss - maybe even quitting your current job to teach or work in a yoga related field full time - then this is definitely not your best option).
I used to work as a coach with Universities as some of my main clients. I find it interesting that one of their targets in recent years, which was being seen as more and more important, was what they called “employability” – where they were measured on how many students found employment within 12 months of gaining their degree. With targets like that – do you think they focused a little more on doing what they could to help those students prepare for how they might use their skill/find a job or develop their career after they left?
And yet, as far as I’m aware, a majority of yoga teacher training programmes simply teach you how to teach, then let you loose with little or no after support. No alumni, no follow up contact - you’re on your own.
As a yoga teacher, does the whole idea of “marketing” fill you with dread or do you have some perception that marketing is some “icky” kind of sales pitch which you’d rather die than do?
If your answer to this is “Yes!” then I’d like you to consider this:
- Have you ever completed a CV and done an interview for a job? Then you’ve “sold.” Any time you’re trying to influence someone else in some way – you’re “selling,” whether that’s an idea, you’re trying to get them to do something or you’re trying to change their mind!
- Have you ever bought something (your yoga teacher training perhaps?) from someone and been glad you bought it? What can you think of that you have bought recently which has enhanced your life/made you feel better or supported your well-being in some way?
- Have you ever seen an advertisement for a product or service you didn’t realise existed, but actually, it was something which fit a need you had at the time and you were glad you found out about it?
I imagine you may have said yes to one or two of those questions!
Yes! Some marketing is icky! But you can spot that a mile away – right?
There’s a saying I learned in sales – “everyone loves to buy – but no-one wants to be sold to!”
The truth is, if you’re thinking of taking a yoga teacher training course because you want to teach others, then you need to know these two things:
a) Your choice of course may not help you much with that aspect at all.
b) You WILL need to do some marketing and “put yourself out there” to get yourself going. Ask yourself how much are you prepared to do what it takes?
I like to “re-frame” how we perceive “marketing” – so it is not a dirty word.
Instead, how about seeing marketing as your opportunity to provide an information service – to let people know about you, and, much, MUCH more importantly, how you can help them.
Actions you can take:
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