Branding can sound like a marketing gimmick. It can sound like a sneaky way of “convincing” people you’re something you’re not.
Or, perhaps, you think the only way to have a brand is to sell a product—like yoga mats, blocks or clothing. Also, not true.
That’s not the kind of branding I’m talking about here. I’m talking about your authentic, one-of-a-kind yoga brand.
And that brand is you.
We hear a lot about the importance of “branding” these days. But, what exactly does that mean for yoga teachers?
As a yoga teacher, you are your brand—there’s no way around it. You’re the face of your teachings, the embodiment of your lessons and your students look to you (and all that you stand for) for guidance, empowerment and clarity.
Now, I don’t say that to overwhelm you, I say that to enlighten you to the fact that you already are a brand. So, you might as well take some ownership of it!
Are you ready to fully claim your unique yoga brand?
Here are 5 steps to set you on the right path:
1. Get clear on your “yoga mission.”
Brands always stand for something. Starbucks, TOMS Shoes, Lululemon, and Whole Foods all have a mission behind the work they do. What’s yours?
Do you aspire to help middle-aged moms find themselves again after their kids have left the nest? Do you long to teach children how to harness the power of meditation? Do you want to help people heal their bodies from illness or injury?
What’s the “yoga mission” behind your brand? Figure that out, and you have the backbone of your brand.
2. Own your “yoga mission.”
Now that you know your mission, own it. Owning your mission is about having the confidence to recognize that you are here to impact the world in a way that no one else can. It’s about readying yourself for the (possibly long) journey ahead.
Owning your yoga mission is about fortifying yourself against any unforeseen obstacles that may try to deter you off your path in the future. It’s about commitment and recognizing that if you don’t bring your yoga mission to the world, no one else will.
3. Spread the word about your yoga brand’s mission.
Spreading the word is simple—but we don’t like to do it. Why? Because we don’t like talking about ourselves. But, here’s the loophole—when you talk about your yoga mission, you’re talking about your yoga brand, not you!
So, share your mission with everyone you meet, shout it from the rooftops and get comfortable talking about the work you do.
People love talking to individuals who are passionate, dedicated and committed to something. Be that person. Be fascinating. Share your yoga mission with the world, and by doing so, you’ll also strengthen the power of your mission.
4. Build a community around your “yoga mission.”
Community is an essential piece of any successful brand. And, successful brands are built on loyalty. That’s why people will pay three times as much for a MacBook, when they could get another laptop for a fraction of the cost—they like what Apple stands for and they like Apple’s “mission”!
Who is loyal to your brand? Who loves what you stand for? Who wants to join in on your “yoga mission”? Give those students a way to keep in touch and stay connected with you and foster a sense of community.
Start an email newsletter, invite them to join your Facebook Page, encourage them to take part in your workshops and trainings, reward them with “freebies” from time to time, talk to them after class and send them birthday cards.
Make them fall in love with you by showing them how much you care and appreciate each and every one of them.
5. Stay the course.
This is where the rubber meets the road. You’ll never have a successful yoga brand unless you stay the course and stick with it.
In the beginning, it’s going to be slow. It’s going to be quiet. But stick with it. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was any successful brand.
But, if you stick with it, and pursue your yoga mission with passion, dedication and heart, you’ll build a yoga brand that is a force (of good) to be reckoned with!
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Assistant Editor: Heather Hendry/Editor: Bryonie Wise