Taking the time to think and plan your strategies is very important. If you are too eager to start quickly, you may overlook something. Success doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of behind the scenes planning, brainstorming, and action. But developing a good plan will lead you to creating some awesome yoga retreats.
Spending time investing in my own plan is one of most significant things I have done.
Before I moved to NYC on January 2, 2001, I spent the three previous months making my plans. Within a few months, I built the foundation of what would became a thriving yoga business that lasted for 10 years before going on to create Blue Osa in Costa Rica.
What you probably don’t realize is that before we built Blue Osa Yoga, Adam and I spent two years behind the scenes meeting continuously, talking about our strategies, what we wanted to create, who our guests were going to be, what our philosophy was going to be, and so much more. We wrote business plans, business models, mission statements, and vision plans. It wasn’t always easy, but in the long-run it paid off.
So I challenge you to take some time to to prepare your marketing strategy for your retreat.
1. Know your destination – take the time to go and visit the retreat. Your marketing begins the moment you start look for your retreat space. As soon as you start looking, share that info with your students. Share pictures on your Facebook and Twitter, send out an email and tell them your plans. Share your scouting trips in your yoga classes.
2 Calculate costs, create a budget, and set a price. Looking though a lot of retreat pages as often as I do, I can tell you that yoga teachers and studios have paid little to no attention to the little details.Knowing what to charge is the second most important thing you have to figure out. Ask yourself how much you need to charge in order to make money? What will your early bird registration discount be? Will you have payment plans to make it more affordable for some students? All of this can make or break your retreat.
3. How will you get the word out? The first question is, do you even have an email list? If not, you need to start one immediately. I suggest looking into a service like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, which makes it easy to send out emails like the ones we send you. Once you have an email list, develop an email strategy. One email will not be enough to fill a retreat. You need to send multiple emails to people throughout the process. It’s important to find the right balance between not enough email communication and over-emailing your students.
4. Create a launch plan for your retreat. A couple of years ago, I was noticing that my yoga teacher trainings were not filling up as much as they should be. When I spoke to my marketing guru, she asked me, have you ever launched your training? Looking back, I realized I had launched my studio, my retreats and everything else I had ever done, but I had never launched my yoga teacher trainings. You have to create a launch in order to get people excited about your retreat.
5. Open your networks. Talk about your retreat to everyone you know. Ask for support and help in getting the word out. Email people personally inviting them to attend.
If you follow these basic principles, you will beging to create a future in leading successful yoga retreats around the world. And how much fun is that!