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Promoting Your New Studio

Not all promotion has to be expensive—in fact, some of the best ways to spread the word cost little to nothing. Read on for a variety of budget-conscious ways to bring students to your new studio.

By Constance Loizos

One expense that you can't and shouldn't forgo is building a snazzy Web site. It's hugely important in creating your image and brand and in providing potential students with the information they need. Says Fields, "Because one of the first things people do is go online and 'Google' the name of your studio, it is critical that you have basic information posted in a clear and appealing way—even if it's just on a one-page Web site."

The Web site of Sonic Yoga features community areas, a searchable library, downloadable MP3s, and an online store where visitors can buy Sonic Yoga-produced videos and DVDs. It would also have cost an eye-popping $25,000 were it not for "a lot of connections," says Fields. For a five- to ten-page high-quality Web site, on the other hand, you can get away with spending as little as $1,000 to $2,000. Be sure to list your studio's name, location, schedule, contact information, and teacher biographies. But take care to post the information in a way that's easy to navigate and looks polished. As Fields has learned firsthand, "the quality of a Web site strongly reflects the experience a student will have at a studio. At least," he adds, "that's the perception."

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that according to many yoga studio owners, approximately 85 percent of their business derives from word of mouth. So if you really want your business to thrive, keep your students talking.

Says Baron Baptiste, founder of the highly successful Baptiste Power Yoga Institutes in Cambridge and Boston, "What I've learned is that it's very important that you have a product, or ministry even, that teaches something that really speaks to people and makes their bodies and hearts sing. You want them to have an amazing experience." If they do, they'll want to tell their friends and family all about it.

Constance Loizos is a San Francisco-based writer whose work has appeared in more than a dozen magazines, including Inc., Fast Company, and San Francisco Magazine. She is currently writing a book about businesswomen.

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Hasu Patel

Experience the Classical Music of India on Sitar, Tabla and VOice lessons at
Sursangam School of Music
Group and private lessons; learning thru internet - Skype
www.hasupatel.com

webyogi

Don't forget these other important yoga directories. They both have free listing to help promote your classes and studio

www.yogadirectorycanada.com
offers a free yoga studio listing

www.yogavoice.net
offers free studio and workshop listing.

yogabiz

A website is definately a must for any business these days. Think about it you are online looking for information, so most probably your potential students are doing the same. Even if you need to start out by using a template based website (you can find many for free these day) having your key information online, contact info, location, services provide, and schedule is vital. Of course just having a website does not mean people will start knocking on your door. You will need to promote your website adress. Be sure to have your url on business cards, if possible use an email address that has your website name in it appose to a hotmail or yahoo account, include your website address on any flyers you pass out, be sure your students that come to your studio are aware of your website address, and take advantage of listing in online yoga directories which link to your website. They may require a small investment but provide great exposure.

Some city specific directories are:
San Francisco - http://www.yogasanfran.com
San Jose - http://www.yogasanjose.com
Boston - http://www.yogaboston.com
Toronto - http://www.yogatoronto.ca
Vancouver - http://www.yogavancouver.ca
Ottawa - http://www.yogaottawa.ca
Montreal - http://www.yogamontreal.com

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