As a yoga teacher, you are brilliant at what you do. Now, you need to figure out how to market yourself. The first step: You need a website. Your studio and event partners expect it, your clients ask about it, and it legitimizes you as a professional. If you utilize it correctly, it can also help to grow your audience organically. Here are eight expert-backed tips for making your website stand out.
Just getting started as a yoga teacher? Here’s what you need to know about building your business.
1. Plan it out
Similar to when you map out your yoga classes or workshops, start with a detailed plan. “This is the biggest mistake most business owners make,” shares JR Calanoc, CEO of Panalo Solutions, a website and mobile app development company. “They jump right into website design mockups without formulating an action plan.”
Start with an intention: What will your website say and how will it build your client base? “Ironically, when I begin planning and constructing websites, the last thing I start with is a computer,” says Taylor Smith, founder of Taylor’d Solutions, a full service creative agency specializing in marketing and branding. “Starting with an ideation session and a good old fashioned pen and paper will help you collect your ideas and align your goals” Putting it all down in writing will also help get the creative juices flowing so you can build a site that truly represents you.
2. DIY—or not to DIY?
Decide if you are going to build your website yourself or hire a web designer. If this is your first time building a website, consider an out-of-the-box templated solution such as Wix or Squarespace. “It can be more expensive with monthly fees than building a WordPress site,” says Rachel Zargo, an independent marketing and creative director, “but offers automatic updates and easy user interfaces for simple design.” Building a website isn’t just easier than it used to be; it’s also more affordable. If you’re willing to follow a simple, non-technical DIY approach, you can build and host a website for as little as $70 per year.
3. Remember: It’s not about you
Most yoga teachers don’t like to do marketing because they don’t like to talk about themselves. It feels uncomfortable—like you’re expending energy out of alignment with bramacharya, the yama for right use of energy. The good news is that you don’t actually have to talk about yourself. In fact, your website should focus on what potential clients can expect to learn from your teaching, not how great you are.
Students are more interested in how your offerings can help transform them into the yogis they want to be, encourages Zargo. When we position our students as the hero of their own journeys and ourselves as their guide, we will be recognized as a trusted resource to help them achieve their goals.
4. Include key information
Your website should include some basic information that potential clients or employers seek. While there may be additional information you’ll want to include, such as links to your online classes and trainings, the experts recommend starting with these six basic, yet integral components:
- An “About me” page. People who seek you out will want to hear your story. This is where you can share your journey to yoga, and clients can see if they relate with you and your teachings. Here, you can also include blog posts, or integrate your social media, recommends Smith. If you don’t like to write, you could also link a YouTube channel or podcast.
- Credentials. If someone is considering hiring you, they will want to know your educational experience and qualifications. This is where you can list your certifications, as well as additional specialized trainings you have attended.
- Services. This is a pivotal objective of your website: to share where your students can find out about your services and how much they cost. Be clear and transparent about what you offer, as well as your pricing and any packages available.
- Testimonials. Testimonials are the best way to position yourself as an authority and trusted guide, states Zargo. You want to show you are a master of your craft, without saying it. Posting about your partnerships and including client testimonials is an excellent way to illustrate your professional qualifications.
- Email subscription link/form. Building your email list is something that you should be doing from day one, urges Smith. The ability to join your email list or newsletter is an important way to keep in touch with your students.
- Contact information. You’d be surprised how this essential step is missed on many yoga websites. Your audience has to know how to get in touch with you, so be sure to include an email address on your website. Another option is to build a “contact” page with a form that people can use to contact you directly.
5. Include photos
You may be camera shy or think you are not photogenic, but yoga is a physical and emotional offering (even online) and the opportunity for connection improves ten-fold with great photography. If you are on a budget, Zargo recommends investing in photos over a logo. You can even do this economically with a good camera phone and asking a friend to take some photos of you practicing or teaching yoga, suggests Smith. Try to keep it real by aiming for a look and feel that truly represents you.
6. Create an experience for your students
Create a website that feels almost like the experience of practicing yoga with you. “Create a flow that takes your users on the journey you want them to experience,” advises Calanoc. “Add calls to action (sign up, contact us, register here), and use iconography and short summaries,” advises Orly Goldsmith, an online education expert. This creates a visual experience that is seamless and easy to follow. Every piece of information about you should be integrated in a way that is logical to your audience, continues Goldsmith. For yoga teachers that means pointing them back to your call to action (connecting with you) and following your website’s energetic flow.
7. Invite clients to your website
Once you have built the website that represents the fabulous yoga teacher that you are, encourage students and potential clients to use your site. This allows you to solicit feedback regarding its ease of use and figure out how to optimize your visibility online. This will also allow you to add original content, such as writing a blog or recording yoga videos, which improves user engagement. Zargo advises including links from your social media accounts to your website to improve your “marketing funnel.” It takes time to build trust and consistency, so Zargo recommends giving away samples of your classes so that potential students can get an idea of what you offer. If it resonates with them, they’ll come back for more.
8. Have fun!
Logistics aside, building your website should be fun, Smith says. It should feel like an authentic, real representation of your life that you’re proud to showcase and own. Perfection is not required. Zargo encourages yoga teachers to start building their website today—a one-page site is a perfectly good place to start. Keep it simple and student-focused, just like you do in your classes. You are sharing opportunities for transformation, so make the most of this platform to showcase your unique offerings… in a web-friendly font.