Home/The Business of Yoga: An Oxymoron or a Recipe for Success?
The Business of Yoga: An Oxymoron or a Recipe for Success? 2017-04-26T15:29:50+00:00

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The Business of Yoga: An Oxymoron or a Recipe for Success?
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Forum Posts: 1
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December 25, 2016
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December 25, 2016 - 11:59 pm
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Hi yogis!

I'm seeking some insight & advice into marketing my services to yoga studio owners who have at least 1 studio location and have tried advertising on sites like Groupon or LivingSocial.

Simply put I know how use paid advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to bring studios a steady stream of new customers and ultimately enroll more students into their teacher training programs.

I've had a ton of success in the health and wellness space promoting local gyms and want to enter into the yoga space because, I'm going to be completely honest here, the average cost of an unlimited yoga membership with auto pay is $130 /month. The high average lifetime value of a new yoga client is very attractive to a marketer like me especially when you add in high ticket services like a teacher training program (averages about $3900 in California).

As you might have noticed, the main problem I'm encountering is probably the language barrier. I'm a very businesses minded person that (let's just assume for the sake of argument) can actually deliver results. However when I tell a studio I can bring them more monthly auto pay customers or help them get more people to enroll in their teacher training classes they don't really show any interest. I've even gone as far as offering to build an entire campaign out and give the studio a free day of advertising just to show them what I can do but I still get push back.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm missing but in every other industry I've done marketing for when I offer to bring a business free customers, they say yes. I just want the opportunity to prove that I can get results but can't even seem to get that far. What do you believe I should do to establish trust and credibility in this industry?

I would appreciate any feed back, insight or criticism you have to offer. Thank you for your time 🙂

 

***This is not an advertisement. I am not using these forums to prospect for new customers. I am looking for feedback and seeking an honest interaction with people who embody the yoga lifestyle and are members of the yoga community in an attempt to gain the information necessary to better serve the yoga industry. 

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December 27, 2016 - 3:00 pm
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Hi Yogimaker,

I'll be honest: Teaching yoga center management or Mom & Pop studio owners about marketing is a tough business, because it's like dealing with artists who know how to paint, but don't like to sell. In fact, most artists, writers, and yoga teachers have terrible marketing skills because they avoid every form of improving their advertising efforts.

Maybe the best thing to do is visit as a student to open dialogue. As a drop-in you will see how the operation works and how approachable the owners are. That will give you the best view ahead of time and if you have a positive relationship with them, you will see their operation clearly, and they are likely to respond well to free advice.

That would break the ice much easier than calling to set up an appointment and walking in as a "business person." 

Best of Luck!

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December 28, 2016 - 10:37 am
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As an instructor, I'm not so sure I like the idea of a new covert sales approach to reach yoga teachers, but this beats cold calls and it could be a great way to qualify your prospects.

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shona

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January 25, 2017 - 9:57 am
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Hi yogimaker,

An interesting post. Something I'm interested in too.
I'd agree with Cobalt's response - that often people become yoga teachers wanting to escape a job they're not happy in anymore - but they often have little business/marketing experience; they are really unclear about their target market or what kind of business model they want to develop - and (probably more tricky) come with a set of beliefs about making money which sabotages their efforts.
I feel slightly frustrated that we are churning out teachers - many of whom do aspire to teaching - but who struggle to make any form of career from teaching - ending up on pin money for gyms or studios. Teacher training offers little in the way of help - I've done both the 200 and 300 hour trainings - and received nothing of any real help at all. And I even gave a local studio near me some free coaching - they didn't take action on any of the steps they clearly identified as being useful for their growth! Go figure!
your specific question was what should you do to build trust/credibility - I'm sure you have testimonials for your other work? Building relationships with the studios you are targeting is key - maybe a meeting for studio owners?? And I'm sure I don't have to tell you - persistence/changing tactic also key!

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February 6, 2017 - 1:27 pm
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I know of a good yoga school that won a free consultation, which included pages of in-depth tips for SEO modifications that they could do to their own dash board and 10 tips for social media, which would also help their off site SEO. That studio did not act on any of the free advice. The owners put no time into any of the free advice. They kept paying through the nose for print media until they closed during a summer slow spell.

Moral of the story: If you do SEO or SMM, you might be best to go to a market that would respond. Liquor stores and restaurants are more motivated to make sales and they will pay for your services instead of giving them away free to a field that wants to remain in the dark about marketing.

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February 8, 2017 - 2:05 pm
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I think Cobalt is spot on. Honestly, I know nothing about sales, but I know a lot about yoga teachers and the leadership within an ashram. I think you have to earn trust before soliciting them. A cold call and free advice will yield little if you don't have a relationship.

The easiest way to break the ice is to take a class. Sales people walk in with all sorts of free trinkets and that might open a door once in a blue moon, but a student who has any skill at any craft or art will be taken seriously.

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February 15, 2017 - 12:09 pm
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