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Not all private yoga instructors are created equal. Find out how you can be more professional and more profitable when working one-on-one with clients.
One of the best ways for yoga teachers to get paid adequately for their time is by working with private clients. With group classes, the students generally pay a smaller fee because they know they’ll get less attention with so many people in the class. However, in private sessions, the teacher’s attention is directed specifically to one client, tailoring the sequence and experience to the individual’s needs.
While it might be challenging to get your first private client, once you do, you might be surprised by how quickly word can spread. If you create a positive, productive, and professional experience for your client, they are likely to tell their friends, families, or colleagues, which can lead to more clients for you. The following six tips will help you take your private teaching to the next level of professionalism to offer the best experience possible for your clients.
6 Ways to Become a Better Private Yoga Instructor
1. Learn about your client before your first session.
Consider creating an intake form that your client fills out before the first session or scheduling an introductory phone call. Learn as much about your client as possible, including her yoga experience, medical history (surgeries or injuries), expectations for the private sessions, and whether or not he/she has the necessary equipment. This will help you prepare appropriately, save you from unwanted surprises, and help you satisfy the client’s needs.
2. Create a clear contract.
Identify your business boundaries before you start promoting yourself. How much do you charge? Is it the same price if the client brings a friend or spouse? Are you willing to travel anywhere or do you charge an additional travel fee when exceeding a certain amount of miles? What is your cancellation policy? Figure out all of these answers on your own before you talk with a potential client and put it in writing. You can have your client sign the contract before your first session.
3. Get liability insurance.
Every teacher needs liability insurance to protect them from the threat of litigation. Even if you add a clause in your contract waiving your responsibility if your client gets injured (which you should), you still need to protect yourself since waivers don’t always hold up in a court of law. Unfortunately, if a client gets injured during a private session, whether it was from your instruction, adjustment, or any other factor, you could still be held liable. Luckily, annual liability insurance is relatively affordable, especially considering how much you can make teaching private clients.
4. Develop payment packages.
Charging clients for one session at a time can work for some people. However, you might want to consider offering a payment package at a lower rate per session if they purchase multiple sessions at one time. This gives clients an incentive to purchase more upfront, which means you will make more money at once and your client is committed. Plus, it eliminates the potentially awkward moment of waiting to get paid after every session.
5. Bring all the equipment.
Chances are your client might have a yoga mat but nothing else. If you want to offer a comfortable and luxurious experience for your client, you definitely want a yoga mat, bolster, blanket, strap, 2 blocks, and an eye pillow. To keep your life simple, you can buy everything all at once at the Yoga Journal store, plus a rolling bag to carry it all in. You might also consider whether you need to bring a music player, essential oils, Tibetan bells, or any other equipment to create the most special experience for your client that you possibly can. The more prepared you can be, the easier it will be for you and your client.
6. Adjust your expectations.
When working with private clients, you have to be especially considerate of their time and energy. While you might have a sequence mapped out before class, when you arrive you may discover he isn’t feeling well and requires something a little more gentle. If you were teaching a group class, you wouldn’t change your entire sequence for one person. However, when working for a private client, that one person is the only reason you’re there. So you have to release your expectations and be willing to teach to the situation at hand.
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ABOUT OUR EXPERT
Gigi Yogini teaches yoga in a way that promotes confidence and courage, both on and off the mat. As an advocate for body positivity and healthy body image, Gigi gives women of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds and abilities the tools and resources to love their bodies. In recognition of her work, Gigi has been featured in a variety of magazines and websites including Yoga Journal, Mantra Magazine, LA Yoga Magazine, MindBodyGreen, Elephant Journal, and more. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.