10 Steps To A Successful Yoga Retreat
1. Partner Up
When we first started Back to Bliss Yoga we were just finishing our Yoga Therapy certifications and teaching in the same studio. We both loved the idea of yoga and travel and decided to create a weekend retreat close to home. Our students loved it! From there we began to expand to longer and more distant retreat centers.
2. Know Your Target Market
For us, most of our students are over 40 (and some are even in their 80’s) so we learned that our best way to communicate with them was by email newsletters and Facebook. Most of our students don’t know what a hashtag is so that’s not a good marketing strategy for our group.
3. Have A Clear Vision
Starting at least one year before your retreat, know what you are looking for in a venue (do you want to stay close to home or travel somewhere warm in the winter?) Then begin searching online and talking to other yoga instructors who have visited places you are considering. Don’t be shy about contacting other instructors, even if you don’t know them, for information about places they have visited. Each year, review your vision and ask “Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? What am I grateful for?”
4. Get Organized
Set up a simple system of communication with people who have registered. Have forms you can use for confirmation of payments and pre-retreat F.A.Q.’s.
5. Set Up A Financial Projection And Retreat Schedule For Your Event
People tell us that one of the reasons they travel with Back to Bliss Yoga is our attention to details and giving them plenty of information about the venue we’ve selected, travel hints, what to pack, etc. your event
6. Grow Your Contact List
If you have a website, make sure to have a page where people can sign up to be on your mailing list. When teaching classes, invite students to join your contact list. Be sure to use your email marketing for things other than selling the retreat. Give them ideas for enhancing their practice or seasonal suggestions relevant to living a yogic lifestyle. We use Constant Contact and have had great luck getting our promos out for a very reasonable cost.
7. Make New Friends
Build globally with people you meet whenever you travel. Talk to seat mates on airplanes and people you see in your community. Let them know what you do and ask if they’d like to receive more information about yoga vacations and workshops.
8. Build Your Business Locally With Workshops And Weekend Retreats
We’ve done ½ day and full day workshops in our town, weekend workshops at a Hot Springs resort within driving distance of our homes and longer, 7-10 day retreats internationally.
9. Venture Into The Unknown
When we started our business, we had no idea how things would develop. We kept putting out ideas for combining our love of yoga and travel. Since those early days, we’ve been to Costa Rica 7 times(our favorite place on earth!), Mexico, Hawaii, Guatemala, and Peru. Future plans include Greece in 2016 and more adventures in 2017.
10. Have Fun
Remember that you’re doing this as your job AND also so that you can travel to wonderful places and learn about diverse cultures. By attracting enough students, most of the time your trip will be comped. The biggest portion of the work happens before you leave home so try to relax and have fun with your students. Enjoy the precious moments!