The prolific growth of Yoga around the world has made Yoga teaching more of a feasible career choice than ever before. But, just as many dedicated practitioners are now able to make their livelihoods from Yoga, so the market has flooded and the choice of Yoga teaching as a career has become fraught with all the dangers of any small business. The incredible swell of the industry has left many sincere and dedicated Yoga practitioners behind, while corporates swoop in to take the market – especially in big cities.
The advance of Yoga corporations is the result of business-minded people going into Yoga, readily equipped with entrepreneurial experience and the capital to make it work. Marketing and business development skills of this kind are not a Yoga teacher’s natural habitat - but exactly the skills they are now compelled to adopt in order to ensure a sustainable Yoga business. Independent Yoga teachers and studios have a challenge ahead of them, and they can be no better advised than to learn from the strategies of Yoga corporates to make their own names in the industry.
How to Grow Your Yoga Business.
Strong local presence – your aim is to ensure a permanent place for your Yoga studio in your local community. Makes sure you stay in tune with the needs and interests of your regulars and expand your business along these lines, aiming to integrate your services as far as possible into their leisure time. This could mean offering other healing methodologies such as Ayurvedic therapies, Thai Yoga massage, or Chakra/energy healing. Incorporate the traditional Yogic practice of Seva and earn the goodwill of your customers by conducting charitable work in the community, or offering weekly satsang or mantra chanting on a donation basis.
Special Yoga events – start by offering day-long Yoga workshops, combining Yoga sessions, talks and delicious organic food. Build interest in your events schedule, offering your students access to special Guest Teachers and approaches to Yoga that they haven’t experienced before. Such events are a chance for the community to bond and form the building blocks for longer Yoga retreats and holidays, which can become an important source of income for your business.
Yoga retreats and holidays– hosting a successful Yoga retreat pays dividends to your business, as well as your reputation as an authority in the field of Yoga. Retreats allow you to bond deeply with your regular students as well as to bring in other customers outside of your local area. Offer your clients the chance to experience a truly exotic, authentic Yoga destination, and combine the experience with Ayurvedic detox to further increase your revenue. Be sure to get professional marketing advice and start advertising your retreat up to a year in advance.
Raise your own profile – try to create online what you have created in your local community. Raise your profile as an expert in the area by guest-blogging and publishing authoritative articles on your own media, as well as submitting to print magazines. Use and boost your own networks, offering guest Yoga workshops at other peoples’ studios and inviting other to guest-teach at yours. As the old adage says, we are known by the company we keep, so maintain community networks with other Yoga professionals so you can benefit from your respective good names.
Social media marketing – an excellent forum to display the ways in which you are raising your profile - post links to your published articles and keep a stream of interesting information and opinion flowing. Social media is a vital tool for strengthening your local links – post a ‘debrief’ of your daily yoga class in order to encourage comment and personal involvement from your followers. This is the way you will promote special events, workshops and retreats, so do all you can to ensure that you are getting regular feedback and community involvement on social media.
Yoga teachers and studio directors interested in offering retreats in exotic Yoga and Ayurveda destinations in South India can read more about Kairali Yoga’s Guest Teacher partnerships here.