For the past 12 years, I have been leading international yoga retreats and filling them with yoga participants. Four years ago I initiated a retreat exclusively to teach yoga teachers how to host and market their yoga retreats. And now, as the Yoga Director and Co-Owner of Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa in Costa Rica, I have witnessed many yoga teachers who can successfully fill their yoga retreats, while others barely bring the minimum number of people.
The number one reason, why yoga retreat leaders fail to sell out their yoga retreats, is because failing to set the intention, they do not put the required effort needed to make the retreat successful.
Why Yoga Retreat Leaders Fail To Sell Out Yoga Retreats
Today so many yoga teachers enter the world of yoga thinking that their careers will take off and will be just like Shiva Rea, Bryan Kest, Jennifer Pastiloff, Rockey Heron or other successful yoga teachers. They think that just because they teach yoga, people will want to become their students. What these newly minted teachers do not realize is that successful yoga teachers are so, because they worked damn hard to get to where they are in their careers and that their yoga following did not just magically appear.
For some reason, many new yoga teachers (and a few old ones) refuse to listen to sound advice of those with experience, reminding them of the hard work and diligence required to advance a career in yoga.
New yoga teachers naively think that they will host a yoga retreat and that 20 or 30 people will just show up. This might actually have happened 15 years ago when there were not a lot of options for travel and yoga retreats, but in today’s world, when good, solid, thoughtful yoga teachers are a dime-a- dozen, and offering affordable and appealing yoga retreats, the competition is greater than ever before to gain the attention of potential retreat participants.
If you really want to attract participants and sell out yoga retreats, then set that intention and be ready to put the work in. But if you don’t have the fire in your heart and the will to make this happen, then don’t have a yoga retreat, since all you are doing is wasting your time, and the time and energy of those around you.
Many yoga teachers forget the basic teaching of the Gita. Work hard. Work tirelessly. Due your duty until you are completely spent and used up. And if you truly believe in what you are teaching people, then get out there in the world, and make your message known. This is your duty.
Here are some questions to consider when marketing retreats:
- Have you actually asked your students if they want to go with you?
- Have you built a webpage for your yoga retreat? If you don’t have a website, no one will take you seriously.
- Have you built a list of followers on Facebook?
- Do you have a fan page? (This is not essential by any means, but is useful.)
- Have you actually taken the time to go to the retreat venue for a site inspection? If you haven’t, then it is more difficult to have your students excited about the venue.
- Don’t print flyers. It is a waste of time and money.
- Have you emailed ALL your students individually to ask them to join you on your yoga retreat?
- Have you held an event to promote your yoga retreat?
- Have you taken the time to think about your purpose for hosting a yoga retreat? What are the pillars of purpose and vision that support your retreat.
- Have you created a launch for your yoga retreat? Do you have a launching plan? Did you pre-launch your retreat?
- Did you create a separate bank account specifically for your retreat?
- Have you created an easy system for people to give you a deposit? Do people have enough incentive to make the commitment and give you money?
- Did you market and promote an early registration discount?
There are many other things to consider when planning a yoga retreat. Here at Blue Osa, we want to see all of our teachers thrive in hosting a retreat. It is not an easy path to take, but the rewards you will reap as a yoga retreat leader will be enormous.
Do you sell out yoga retreats on a regular basis? What tip did you find most helpful to be on your way to sell out yoga retreats? What are your tips on how to sell out yoga retreats?
About Yogi Aaron
Yogi Aaron, author of Autobiography Of A Naked Yogi, 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