November 16, 2012

How to Ethically Promote Your Yoga Offerings. ~ Cailen Ascher

from FinancialTimes.com

You’re not being selfish; you’re serving your students.

Sometimes yoga and the business of yoga seem at odds. On our mats, we’re taught to trust our instincts, go with the flow and tap into our highest self. Yet pushing your business card and yoga class brochure into strangers’ hands as they leave the gym hardly seems “yogic.”

So, what gives? How do you find the balance between living your yoga and the business of promoting your offerings?

It comes down to one, very important element: you are there to serve your students.

I’m guessing you didn’t decide to become a yoga teacher for the money. In my opinion, yoga teachers are some of the most undervalued professionals out there. Even after countless hours of trainings, years of dedicated practice and thousands of dollars spent, professional yogis are often hired at meager rates of $20 per hour, or just $3 per head.

If you count on your yoga income to support you and your family, you need to embrace the concept of marketing yourself—ethically of course.

You are there to serve your students, and often the best way to serve is to let them know about all the amazing offerings you or your studio has going on. This is not about being sleazy or slimy and recommending everything to everyone—but don’t be afraid to share what you have in the works!

If your students like you—and chances are they do if they keep showing up to your classes—then they want to know what you have going on. If you’re their main teacher, they actually have a right to know what upcoming classes, workshops, events and retreats you’re offering.

You are their connection to yoga, so give them as many doorways in as possible!

If you shy away from marketing yourself, as many yogis do, it can be hard to embrace it at first. You might feel like you’re talking yourself up or that you’re being “greedy” by recommending that your students attend events that will put more dollars in your pocket. But remember, you are there to serve your students. Who did you design that Anxiety-Busting Workshop for, if it wasn’t for them?

Let them know about it! Talk about it at the end of class. Send out an email. Post it on your Facebook page. Share it on your website.

You’re not being selfish; you’re serving your students!

It may seem difficult to find your rhythm with marketing, but it gets easier the more you do it—promise! Before you know it, it will seem like second nature to tell your up-tempo Vinyasa Flow Class about the upcoming Yoga-Zumba Hybrid Event that you co-chaired, or to email your Restorative Yoga students about the Meditation Series that you’ll soon be offering.

So the next time you find yourself shying away from talking about all the wonderful things that you have going on, remember it’s all in service—and see if it gets easier to share your awesomeness!

Cailen Ascher is a yoga entrepreneur. She shares her marketing and business advice at www.CALMbiz.com, and works with savvy yogis and budding entrepreneurs who are ready to pursue their passion, expand their reach and grow their business. Get a copy of her FREE Yoga Biz Resume Guidebook here. Enjoy what you read? – sign up for Cailen’s FREE newsletter, like CALM Biz’s Facebook Page or follow her on Twitter.



Editor: Jennifer Townsend

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