Do you teach yoga? Are your class numbers lower than you’d like? Perhaps it’s time to focus your efforts on being not only a great teacher but also a great yoga marketer, so that you can reach anyone and everyone who could possibly benefit from the yoga message you’re offering.
As yoga teachers, we’re in the business of service. We serve our students to the best of our ability and hope that the lessons we teach and information we impart make their lives richer, fuller and happier. There’s honestly no better feeling than when a student recounts how our teaching has changed their life for the better.
Yet, as much as we love to serve, we’re confounded when thinking of ways to increase our student body. We’re brilliant at sequencing and weaving poetry into class, but we don’t have a clue as to how to entice more students through the door.
Let’s get one thing straight: your class numbers are not a reflection of the quality of your teaching. Even the very best yoga teachers on the planet—Tara Stiles, Sadie Nardini, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea or any other yoga goddess you admire—started small. It’s the only way to start!
However, if you want to take your teaching to the next level in order to spread your yoga message far and wide, you have to think about ways to connect and build relationships with current students as well as potential students. The primary way to do that is to meet them where they hang out: online.
Here are three social-media strategies that will serve and grow your yoga community:
Create a Facebook page. It’s a business-oriented profile that allows people to interact with you on a professional level. Post pictures of poses, links to articles, and encourage students to engage and interact. Plus, when they “like” something you post, it will be shared with their Facebook friends, and your message will spread.
Send out a yoga newsletter. Start a weekly or biweekly yoga newsletter that shares yoga tips, yoga philosophy or even healthy recipes. Again, it’s about adding value to your students’ lives and giving them ways to expand their yoga practice outside the classroom. If the info you offer is interesting and informative, your students will share it with their friends and family! (Check out free newsletter platforms like Mailchimp.com, which I use for my CALM biz newsletter for yoga teachers.)
Start a yoga blog. Write a yoga blog once per week as a resource for your students. Think about what questions you are commonly asked and write blog posts about them. Let your students know about your blog and encourage them to read and comment. Plus, you can reuse your blog posts in your yoga newsletter and kill two birds with one stone (although that saying is not very yogic!).
I encourage you to think about ways you can start serving your students when they’re not on the mat in your class.
How can you enrich their lives even when they’re not in the studio OMing with you? How can you add value in ways that support their yoga and deepen their connection to their practice?
Get your head out of the studio and think about how you can reach and teach your students in more profound ways. Give them a more complete experience of yoga, and your numbers will grow as your yoga message touches more people.
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Ed: Dejah Beauchamp/Kate Bartolotta