Marketing is such an evil word. Social media, email campaigns, network marketing – you name it. The word itself conjures up negativity, and generally the act of marketing is not applied for the better good. Most campaigns try to make people buy a bunch of useless crap that they don’t need, or don’t want to buy in the first place.
We can look to McDonald’s. Or Ray-Bans. Or any credit card company that tries to bury users in a mountain of debt. All so we can live an unreachable dream, with hell waiting on the other side in the form of interest payments.
Each marketing campaign appeals to a part of our ego that is stimulated in some way to fill our lives with things and services we really don’t need.
Marketing Yourself As A Yoga Teacher
Many people become yoga teachers with a false impression that their first students will just show up. I am here to tell you, this will never happen.
So the question is – do yoga teachers need to market themselves?
The answer is a big, resounding yes!
Marketing is not an evil or bad tool.
What people create with that tool determines if it is good or not.
Personally, marketing lead me to cultivate a community of amazing yogis. These people have not only enriched my life greatly, but also enriched the lives of others in the community, whom they met because of marketing.
Really good posts can convey your message clearly about who you are, your values, and beliefs.
Without marketing yourself as a yoga teacher, you will never find your community. If you don’t tell anyone who you are, or how to reach you, where will your community come from? How will anyone know how to find you?
As the owner of Blue Osa, it is my job to let people know we are here and possibilities of what can happen if they came. Our marketing efforts are informational and often educational.
Good marketing is authentic and engaging to allow you to stay in touch with your community.
The fact is, every one markets themselves daily. By the way we dress, our style of haircut, who we talk to, who we ignore, and in the kind of posts we make about ourselves on Facebook.
Good marketing allows people to see different colors of who you are and what you want to share.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start To Market Yourself As A Yoga Teacher
In 2001, I moved to New York wanting to start a business teaching yoga. I had to ask myself three important questions in order to be successful.
1. Who do I want to teach yoga to?
My belief states that yoga is for everyone and yes, you should be able to teach everyone.
Baring the statement above in mind, ask yourself this – who do you want to teach? Who is your yoga tribe? Where are they? This is one of the most important questions a yoga teacher needs to ask.
Many people are under this impression that they should somehow teach anyone and everyone. While it’s important to make a living, in the true yoga tradition the sages and teachers choose their students. Their students do not choose them.
Get out there and find your yoga students and community. Read more about how to find your community!
“I tend to think of marketing less as a strategy to make money and more as an invitation to those who would benefit from yoga and connect with my unique style. To my thinking, marketing is an extension of service and should always be rooted in supporting ones current and future students.”
2. How will you find your yoga community?
Once you’ve decided who you want your community to be, you have to determine how to find them. Ask yourself:
- Where do I need to advertise?
- What social media groups do I need to join?
- What Pinterest Boards should I follow?
- What social clubs should I get involved with?
- What gyms or yoga studios should I connect, or even work with?
Good marketing practices allow you to find out information from your community and how you can best serve them.
3. What is your message?
Decide the message you want to convey to your community. Your message is crucial, because it will attract the people who you are truly looking for. Without a clear message, your community will be directionless, and thus will never be strong. (Read more about how to cultivate a clear message.)
“I would say that the biggest benefit to marketing yourself is for people to hear what you have to offer them. If you have a passion and gift for sharing yoga then people should know about it or what you have to do is limited in the impact it may make on another human beings life.”
Marketing allows you to convey a specific teaching or message you want people to associate you with. In this example, I demonstrate how smiling is important in yoga practice.
Marketing allows you to share with your community updates on how you live your purpose or toward your mission in life.
Cultivate Your Students
Over the span of my yoga career, I was careful in crafting the type community I wanted to be surrounded by. More importantly, the kind of students I wanted to have.
My gift is not to be shared with just anyone.
It is said in the tradition that when you indiscriminately give your gift away, you lose the power of your gift. Not everyone is deserving of it, because not everyone is willing to do the work to receive what you have to offer.
Cultivate a community of winners.
Cultivate a community of people who want to strive to do better in life.
Cultivate a community of people who yearn to understand themselves and the deeper mysteries of life.
Cultivate a community of people who truly yearn to find inner peace and love, so they can be more loving and peaceful to other people.
“The biggest benefits to marketing yourself as a yoga teacher is that it keeps you linked with your students and the yoga community by continuing to keep you connected with them even when they are unable to make it into the studio for class. It helps to build your identity and authenticity as an inspiring teacher by creating your voice as a leader in the community.”Stacey Schuerman
When you can accomplish that goal, you will not only become a great yoga teacher who cultivated meaning and purpose in your own life, but you will also become yoga teacher who cultivated needed change on the planet through empowering other people to win in their lives.
All of this can materialize because you marketed yourself.
So what’s stopping you? Begin marketing yourself as a yoga teacher today, and with hard work and determination, your business will grow!
About Yogi Aaron
Yogi Aaron brings passion and a spirit of adventure to his teaching. Thus inspired, he guides students to secret, far-flung locales, which not only empowers them to realize their own limitless potential but also makes yoga relevant and accessible for the modern world. Since 2002 he has been traveling and leading retreats worldwide. He currently serves as the Yoga Director at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in Costa Rica