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Marketing 101

Learn how simple, inexpensive marketing techniques can boost your class numbers and elevate your career.

By Sage Rountree

Make It Simple

As you prepare an active marketing campaign, collect some simple materials.

First, create a business card, ideally with an offer of a free or discounted first class. Cards can be created cheaply or even for free at online printers such as VistaPrint.com. Carry these with you and share them freely.

Second, begin collecting and organizing your students' contact information, including email addresses. This allows you to keep your clients advised of your schedule and upcoming events. Remember to consider students' privacy. "If people haven't asked to be in your newsletter or said that it's OK to use their emails, then you should not be sending them mass, unsolicited emails," Hori says.

Client bases of fewer than 50 names can be reached by sending a blind-carbon-copy email to the group. As your email list grows, however, a newsletter service such as iContact.com or Namaste Interactive makes it easy to manage. However you decide to manage this information, use it to make regular contact with your students. McDonough says, "You need a system that allows you to constantly stay in the forefront of your clients' minds."

A website is another useful marketing tool. You can work on your own, arrange a trade with or pay a Web designer, or use an online service such as WebFlexor.com. Look at other teachers' sites to get an idea of what can be done, then tailor your own to address your audience. Donia Robinson, owner of the Carrboro Yoga Company in Carrboro, North Carolina, suggests including plenty of pictures on the site, detailing your training, and describing yourself in a way that shows you are "relatable and personable."

Throughout your marketing campaign, specify in plain terms how your offering will benefit your clients. Beware of jargon, cautions McDonough: "Transformational, pPranayama, asana, blissful—these words may mean absolutely nothing to potential students." Sagee's rule of thumb here: "Don't talk Sanskrit. Most yoga teachers make the mistake of talking to the yoga community when positioning their business." Instead, he advises, "Talk to the world at large. Bring people into the yoga community by telling them how beautiful yoga is for them, and what benefits and meaningful value it will have for their lives. You can't do that by confusing them."

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Reader Comments

Chris Madden

Great stuff. We've been able to use facebook ads to drive paying customers into the door for yoga businesses, and made an infographic with results to help studio owners:
http://www.muchobetter.com/infographic/

merri

Great article thankyou so much. Note for Aarti: girl seated behind is doing the open version; suitable for menstruation. Cheers and keep up the good work.

Aarti

Hi there,

I really like your journal here. But I noticed in the picture in this marketing article of yours, the second girl at the back is holding the posture incorrectly. She has got the wrong leg bent up.

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