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Cost effective advertising?
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June 18, 2005 - 11:18 pm
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What is the most cost effective form of advertising or marketing my Yoga studio? :P

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June 19, 2005 - 1:57 pm
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There is no single magic method for marketing your Yoga studio, but here are two good ones with a nice return on investment.

1. Referrals: Encourage them with incentives, by teaching great classes, and having exceptional customer service. There is a myth - "you can't control word of mouth." This is a half truth because your satisfied students will spread the word with very little encouragement.

2. Create a Website: No matter how many times I talk to Yoga studio owners, it never ceases to amaze me how many have a poor web presence. For an investment of less than $200 USD per year, you can create a 24 hour sales person, who never complains, dsn't take days off, and completely informs the public about your Yoga business.

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April 30, 2006 - 6:58 pm
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I find a website is only cost effective if you have the time to put into promoting it. If you just put up a template website and hope it will do the promotion for you, it will never get seen and the domain name registry and server costs will probably cost more than the extra revenue it generates.

If you can invest a lot of time into your website, and can get it seen by the right people, it can become the most effective marketing tool in your repertoire. But you have to babysit it.

You can also look into more traditional forms of marketing for small businesses. Such as flyer campaigns, yellowpages/classified advertisements, billboards. These are generally cheap and can go a long way to raising awareness for your studio.

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May 1, 2006 - 12:33 pm
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It is agreed that flyers are inexpensive and most Yoga teachers do not have big budgets.

However, the rest of print media is quite another story. One of my Yoga teacher clients just got a quote from a paper in the Detroit area for $1700.00. This is for one advertisement on one day. How many prospective Yoga students read a newspaper cover to cover?

You cannot make changes to the Yellow Pages, once they are in print, and they are not cheap. Do you read the Yellow pages or look it services on the Internet? This is why there is no one single method for acquiring new Yoga students.

A website must be constantly looked after, but you can be in total control of your own marketing. There are affordable pay-per-click programs with adwords and Yahoo. You can set a daily ceiling and get a local match listing.

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May 1, 2006 - 8:57 pm
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I absolutely agree that search word advertising with Google Adwords is a cost-effective, simply because it works for us.

Using Adwords requires a lot of effort, like a website, especially when you are in the phase where you are exploring what adwords and ad copy works. But once you get it dialed in -- with much help from Google, I might add -- you are advertising almost exclusively to people looking for what you are offering.

As Paul pointed out, for most yoga instructors their best bet is to use regional Adword ads. "Yoga" is not a very expensive search term, and when you narrow it down to just your area you won't get any eye-popping bills from Google.

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August 22, 2008 - 11:39 am
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Maybe this will help you advertise cheaply.

Get a Blog for free.

Happiness to all on your wonderful journey!

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August 23, 2008 - 3:12 pm
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Namaskar Yogaist,

Thank you for this novel idea.

Putting your name out there with different directories is a low cost way to market your Yoga studio. It's a lot less money than newspaper advertising. All of you should do this, but do not spend money to be listed in a web directory. The reason is who will look into one of these directories for you or your studio? You will be lucky if you pull in one student per year from Yoga finder, Yogi seeker, and Yoga site combined. If you spend $37.50 per year for being listed in the top five Yoga directories that's only $187.50 per year for your listings.

Go ahead and try it for a year. If you see one student show up because of your listings, please come back here and tell me about it because I have yet to see a student from a listing and neither do any of the Yoga teachers I know. But a free listing is worth a try.

Om Shanti,

Tomako

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September 23, 2008 - 2:28 am
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Yoga Journal estimates that 15 million U.S. residents practiced yoga last year, up almost 30% from the year before. The explosion hit a couple of years ago shortly after Gucci grabbed headlines with $850 yoga mats it no longer sells. While yoga appears to be still growing in popularity, other fitness trends, such as the body-conditioning Pilate, are now more explosive, says the IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

========================

kimrennin

edited by Admin: non-yoga-related link removed.

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September 23, 2008 - 10:12 am
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Namaskar Kim,

Thank you for your back link and advertisement, which has nothing to do with this thread. You are practicing a creative low cost marketing strategy. For that you deserve praise. Fellow Yoginis should observe how you do this on every Yoga forum you visit.

About your Stats:

IDEA is a fitness organization that would like to move into Yoga, but is frustrated by Yoga studios who don't march in line with the health clubs. IDEA isn't impartial and any stats they give are swayed into their (fitness) favor.

If you go to any gym, Yoga is on the menu along with group fitness classes from A to Z. In comparison, how many step aerobic studios are there in comparison to Yoga studios? How many Pilates studios are there in comparison to Yoga studios?

About Gucci Yoga mats: We were waiting for them to go on sale for $20 at TJ Maxx. Maybe they could throw in a pair of glasses too. I have no idea what you are on about. Nevertheless, if anyone has one of those Gucci Yoga mats for cheap I'm interested.

Peace,

Tomako

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September 23, 2008 - 10:32 am
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Namaste Tomako,

Do you think that leaving a backlink on this yoga forum and others will improve our visibility on the Internet? I ask because of spending on newspaper advertising that cost me a fortune and almost put me out of business. Luckily I was able to break a contract with the newspaper. I was spending $300 per week but lucky to see 4 new students per month from the ads. Flyers and my yoga website had the best results.

Peace

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September 23, 2008 - 1:26 pm
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Namaskar Starlight,

Sorry to read that you were a victim of newspaper advertising. The papers need help so they scam us with promises of exposure in papers that nobody reads.

Yes, back linking is beneficial for your page rank, especially if your links are on sites that have something to do with your site. For example - Yoga teachers should link to other Yoga related sites or a Yoga forum like this one.

However, in Kim's case she would improve her page rank by going to SEO forums and posting useful material there. I can't make progress by having my backlinks on sites unbrelated to Yoga.

Some of the backlinks are just content spam. Like "great site -thanks for the info," if you follow their link they are selling everything from soup to nuts. My suggestion is you create a signature in your profile that leads back to your yoga blog or website.

Paul is pulling in a lot of traffic on this high ranked forum, so why not capitalize on it. He won't mind and he would tell you the same.

Peace,

Tomako

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September 23, 2008 - 1:42 pm
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Hi everyone.

I'd like to back up Tomako's statement about the value of backlinks and in particular the importance of relevance when backlinking. If you teach yoga it doesn't help you to have a link on a pet-lover's website and vice versa. But relevant and related links will definitely help you.

For any member who wishes to promote their yoga-related website, Tomako's advice about creating a signature with a link is absolutely correct.

From an administrative perspective for the forum, it's important that such links be in your signature because they will be easily edited or modified from your user profile and that will update all of your posts containing your signature rather than having to edit every individual post.

This makes sense because website addresses often change, or the text and/or title you may wish to put along with your signature may need to be updated from time to time.

Note: I've edited kimrennin's post above to remove her promotional link which was not related to yoga.

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September 23, 2008 - 3:58 pm
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Pranam,

I so love this forum and I love to read real expertise. The sites from Aura are top-notch. By the way, you could add your URL to blog posts too, but stick with the topic when you write a comment. Most blogs and forums pale in comparison to these, but you it won't cost you a penny to add backlinks to your yoga site.

Peace be with you.

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September 23, 2008 - 4:32 pm
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Hi Everybody,

Some great advice here. If you don't have a website or blog, what are you waiting for? You could get a free blog or my space site for nothing. If you are teaching Yoga in Anaconda, Montana you could focus on those keywords. Something like "Anaconda Yoga Blog" or mention the next town over (Butte).

There's plenty of room for creative marketing thought that dsn't cost money. With the Dow dipping another 161 points today it might be smart to focus on growing your yoga business. Depending on when you plan to retire, your yoga studio may end up being your retirement fund.

Sincerely,

Parell

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September 23, 2008 - 5:37 pm
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cancersurvivor wrote:
By the way, you could add your URL to blog posts too, but stick with the topic when you write a comment. Most blogs and forums pale in comparison to these, but you it won't cost you a penny to add backlinks to your yoga site.

Hi, this is the administrator again (using my real name) and since I'm actually an SEO specialist when I'm not monitoring Paul's forum I thought I'd just throw in another 2 cents worth here...

Not all blogs are created equal - because most blogs have a spam deterrent built into their comments sections. It's a method of negating the link value of any links posted in comments by using a hidden attribute called "nofollow" and it's recognized by all the major search engines.

So, you can figure that 95% of blogs are using nofollow and that putting your link into blog comments will usually provide you with zero value.

You're much better off starting your own blog as Parell suggested. However, if you already have a website you should start the blog there instead of using a free blog service. It will help to generate fresh content (which search engines love) on your site rather than on some blog hosting company's site. That's a better result than simply having links from a hosted blog to your own site.

But if you don't own a site, or can't easily install one (in which case you should upgrade your hosting to one that will let you install one with a push of the button), then the free blog space is better than nothing.

Hope this helps,

Jade

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September 23, 2008 - 6:14 pm
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Namaskar!

WOW! Thank you for the inside information. You have cleared a few mysteries up. We may teach yoga classes, but most of us are little more than computer literate. You are a big help.

Om Shanti,

Priyah

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September 23, 2008 - 9:46 pm
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Priyah wrote:
Namaskar Jade,

WOW! Thank you for the inside information. You have cleared a few mysteries up. We may teach yoga classes, but most of us are little more than computer literate. You are a big help.

Om Shanti,

Priyah

Hi Priyah,

You're quite welcome.

It seems that there's quite a bit of interest from members about websites, SEO and other online marketing methods.

So, I'm going to offer to provide some answers (where I can) to questions from members regarding their online marketing issues.

The only thing I ask is that people try to create new topics specifically for each issue.

For example, if a member is curious about link exchange strategies, they should start a new topic (thread) posing their specific question (ideally with a descriptive title too 🙂

If a member is curious about PPC advertising (Pay-Per-Click) they should do the same with a new topic for that too.

The same would be true for every issue that members might question, such as Search Engine Optimization, Keyword targeting, Hosting Issues, and so on. Create a new topic (here in the "Business & Marketing" section of the forum).

This way we'll produce a series of threads that are highly focused on each issue and they can become a useful resource for all members.

I'll do my best to respond promptly and answer as best I can.

How does that sound?

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September 24, 2008 - 5:37 pm
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Yes, this is a great idea. I will start one thread tonight. Thank you for helping us.

Om Shanti,

Priyah

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June 18, 2009 - 9:42 pm
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This is a very useful thread for yoga studio owners who want to grow their web site and learn SEO strategy.

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December 14, 2009 - 9:41 pm
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Namaskar!

About software for tracking yoga students, visitors, conversions or sales: Google Analytics is free software. It's easier to install than most. By the way, software that doesn't work is a common Internet scam. Once upon a time, I paid for software that didn't work. I was stuck with my purchase because it had a digital media return policy. All sales are final - no refund. Google Analytics is the best way to go.

Shanti,

Patel

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