Sharing Beyond the Studio: Free Marketing Tools for Yoga Teachers

This list is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the things to do to begin to build a successful online yoga presence.  I totally know it can be overwhelming to start to put yourself “out there”. You don’t know where to start, who to seek help from, what any of the technical lingo means.  I have been there and been overwhelmed and in perfection paralysis and I know it isn’t fun.  I was amazed at all that I didn’t know- heck, I didn’t even know it was there to not know!

I want to share with you the small bits of knowledge I have accumulated on my journey so far in hopes that it makes your path a bit more smooth. I encourage you to move forward, one small step at a time. I beg you to follow your intuition and your feelings about which things feel like “you” and which ones feel like you are copying someone else.  You are who your students want- your personality, your wisdom, your imperfections, your inspiration.

Share YOU.

My best advice that overrides any other business information you will hear is to just start. Make an attempt and then you will have something to tinker with, to make more “you”, to notice if it doesn’t feel like “you”.  I have had so many different versions of my website, my logos, my colors, my headings. And that is OK, it is all a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?!

Here is a list to get you started putting yourself out into the world.

WEBSITE

Get Yourself a Website today.

I recommend getting a free WordPress website at www.wordpress.com. The free site is simple to set up. I know nothing about coding and I set up my own site.  I started with a free site here and then as I wanted to expand and add more features, I transferred it to www.wordpress.org, their sister site that you have to pay for and have hosted by an outside company.  The big benefit of wordpress.org is the ability to have plug-ins on your site. If that means nothing to you, don’t worry. Get started with a free site and as you are ready to expand, you will feel comfortable learning more.

LIST BUILDING

Start building your email list today.

Put out a sign-up sheet at your classes and let people know that they can stay informed about your classes and workshops by signing up.

Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers. By the time you have 2,000 subscribers, the small monthly fee will be affordable for you. I upgraded to the $10 a month so that I could have the Autoresponder feature which sends an email within an hour of the person signing up for your list.  For those of you on my Yoga Teachers list, you received the Autoresponder for “Sharing the Chakras: 70 Class Themes for Yoga Teachers”.  If you’d like to receive that and see how this process works, you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/VetVf 

I highly recommend Nathalie Lussier’s free “30 Day List Building Challenge”.  She sends you an email every day for 30 days with big and small tips for building your list. She gives some great technical Mailchimp training in the challenge, too.

Send out newsletters anywhere from once a month to once a week. You can share your upcoming workshops, give information about poses for certain conditions, share a video or a special quote.  Offer special incentives to your newsletter subscribers and make sure they know how much you value them and appreciate them.

SOCIAL MEDIA

After trying to keep up with all of the social media outlets, I decided to concentrate on two: Facebook and Pinterest because I enjoy them the most and they seem the most effective and fun for me. Remember to do what feels right for you and what you love. Don’t do anything because an “expert” told you to.

Facebook Business Page

This is a great place to share your workshops and class schedule. It is a fun place to share articles and quotes that you share in class. You can run challenges for your students from here too! I really enjoy the interaction with people on my business page for Everyday Chakras.

I highly recommend Jackie Johnstone as a resource for building your presence on Facebook.  She has a free webinar called the 4 Pillars of Great Social Media Content that transformed how I think about what to post and share.

Pinterest

This is my second favorite (after Facebook) social media outlet. I created a business page for Everyday Chakras and have boards for all different aspects of each chakra: Root Chakra {For Parents}, Root Chakra {Nature}, etc.  You can use your personal page for sharing about your yoga business as well. The one reason I got a business page is for the analytics that the business page gives you.  Having said that, I still post yoga stuff on my personal page, but that page is more personal with things about my kids and things for my family.  But your readers/customers want to know more about you as a person and Pinterest can be a great way to share that part of you with them. So, it’s your choice if you go with a business page or stay with just a personal page- I am not dead set on one way or the other on this one.

Instagram

Instagram has been a very successful social media outlet for many yoga teachers.  Instagram is great for sharing your yoga selfie, for connecting with other yoga teachers, for sharing short videos and running challenges.  Some great Insta-yogis to check out are: beachyogagirl with 584k followers and AmberShumake who shares really thoughtful and inspiring posts to go along with her pictures.  Two totally different styles but both make an impact on the follower.

Challenges are really fun to run via Instagram. To check out a challenge I participated in last year, search the hashtag #fyhanstand365. It was a 365 day handstand challenge begun by Ana Forrest. It has worldwide participation and I got to meet some yogis that were participating that I never would have without the challenge. (You can see my 7 year old daughter in many of my handstand pictures as she was my partner in crime!)

YouTube

YouTube helps you share your gifts with so many people that can’t physically be with you in your classes. You can make personal videos for customers or public videos for everyone.  You can share them on your website or offer them as a special gift only to your newsletter subscribers. The sky is the limit as far as what you can do with your yoga videos.

Notice that I have left Twitter out of the list. I just don’t get it so I am not even going to pretend I do! If you love Twitter and it works for you, of course keep at it.  Maybe even send me some tips, please!

PHOTOS

Yes, you should have them- start taking pictures of yourself now. Make sure you have a few good headshots and a handful of you in Joy in Warrior 3yoga poses.  For now, in the beginning of your business, take your own yoga photos for your website and your newsletters.  Very important: when taking photos, in addition to the photographer, bring someone who knows yoga alignment to help you.  I hired a photographer once and didn’t have anyone there to check my alignment and as a result, I couldn’t use a bunch of the photos because I wasn’t happy with my alignment.  In another instance, a bunch of yoga teachers hired a photographer together and we all helped with each other’s alignment and those pictures were all usable. My main photographer these days is my 10 year old son. He loves to do it and it is really easy to genuinely smile at him!

Photo-editing and graphic design

PicMonkey and Canva are websites that makes designing graphics for social media and blog posts simple.  They both are free but have paid versions that are reasonable. All those beautiful quotes that you have repined on Pinterest were likely made on one of these websites.  This is an example of something I made on PicMonkey. (And I do wish you that!)

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This list is by no means exhaustive of all the tools that are out there but will give you a really good start into building an online presence.  I would love to hear of anything that I have missed that you have found helpful in your own business.  Please share it in the comments to help us all learn.

Namaste!

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