A few years ago, some of my students who had been with me from day one, suddenly turned on me. They thought that I had lost my way just because I started becoming successful. When I started marketing myself, I received emails that said things like, “That is not very yogic of you Aaron.”
Many yoga teachers today are ashamed to market themselves. They feel torn between wanting to make enough money to live and the fear of overselling themselves. Yes, today the lines between ethical and “sleazy” marketing are deeply blurred, but if you stay grounded in your authentic self and values, your personality will shine through, attracting your dream students.
In the age of social media, it is easier than ever to judge others, especially when you have watched them grow from nothing to something. We forget that behind the Facebook messages, blog posts, tweets, promos, and Instagram filters, we are all still real people on a mission to spread the teaching and benefits of yoga.
I know the fear of putting yourself out there is strong and you worry about what others will think.
But here’s the truth.
As a yoga teacher, YOU HAVE A MESSAGE AND TEACHING that people are searching for. It is your responsibility to help them find you.
With all the noise on the internet, the only way to make that happen is through strong, authentic marketing practices. Making money and sustaining yourself as a yoga teacher is not bad. When you can make money doing the work you feel most passionately about, you have the ability to reach and help more people. Think about the impact.
But you can’t do this without marketing.
So, HOW DO YOU MARKET YOURSELF ETHICALLY?
Without losing YOUR soul?
You first have to understand what marketing really is.
In my opinion, marketing is the practice of letting people know:
• What you offer;
• Who you are;
• How they can get it.
That’s what strong, sincere marketing can do.
You don’t need to be the McDonalds of yoga. It’s not about selling to the world, it’s about knowing and reaching the people who truly need you. Don’t get caught up in trying to convince people that they have to have what you are offering. The don’t!
At the heart of it, marketing is about letting your ideal dream customers find you.
Marketing doesn’t have to be evil. It’s not about endless cold-calling, and it shouldn’t conjure images of the sleazy door-to-door salesman.
Always go back to your purpose.
Being on the “good side” of marketing is easy as long as you have two things:
1.) A strong vision about where you are going.
2.) A clear idea of who you are serving and who your ideal students are.
Once you get clear on these two things, your marketing will begin to happen more effortlessly. You will find the true essence of your message is heard loud and clear.
There are many strategies for communicating your message to the world. You have to figure out the recipe that works best for you. This all depends on you and your target market.
Getting your message out there can take awhile. But once you figure out your own authentic formula, the people who are seeking you will find you- and support you as their yoga teacher!
It’s not about making everyone happy, it’s about finding and helping that small percentage of people in the world that need you.
Bio: Yogi Aaron is the marketing guru for Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa. Having led over 80 workshops and retreats around the world in the last 10 years, he offer’s marketing retreats for yoga teachers at Blue Osa and throughout the USA that will teach you how to sell out your retreats.