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November 23, 2014 by Annie Ross
By Annie Ross
I speak three languages and it looks like my fourth is going to be yogi.
Brand new to yoga, I have been exploring the scene over the past six weeks in London - the styles, studios, prices and instructors - to work out what gels with me. It’s been a strange ride. We all enjoy learning; but we are also widely proven to prefer what we are familiar with.
Here’s what I think about finding the yoga haven that fits naturally into your life, and tips for yoga instructors trying to build and expand their business.
I am confident yoga as an exercise still has a great deal of growing to do. Though yoga is widely known, has it been fairly interpreted? I’ve shunned yoga for 20 something years now, in favour of pilates and other sports, yet I’m yoga’s ideal customer and beneficiary.
How much is being done to give someone new to yoga an exciting and fulfilling experience, to get them hooked?
First impressions matter - we all know that. Every yoga class has to count, whether its a free sampler session or paid for. Demonstrating value for time and money ahead of the session should be a priority - getting new students through the door is vital to broadening a yoga studio's base.
This is where a studio/ instructor’s emarketing material really comes in. Flyers, a website, any social media, all portray a feeling about a particular yoga class’s brand that prospective clients will bond with, or not. Capture your target audience. Who are your classes best suited to? By being too generalist and customer-greedy, you’re less likely to trigger high quality client retention. But be too specific, and it’s less likely that you’ll ever come across your ideal customer.
Both to attract prospective clients in the first place and keep them coming back, I recommend breaking down any logistical barriers to entry. This ultimately comes down to making yourself super relevant to a customer’s schedule and commuter route - components that they’ll highlight in their online searches.
Yoga class searches are likely to be relatively targeted (‘yoga near Kings Cross station,’ rather than ‘yoga in North London’). I know where I’m going to be and I know yoga studios are prolific so I’m going to make it work for me. Make sure your site and social media immediately flag up your location(s)- using google maps can help SEO.
Through a series of guest blogs, I’ll share a perspective from the very bottom of the yoga hierarchy, taking you through a typical path to discovery. Today I’ve touched briefly on the first-timer’s search. From my early experiences, I’ve been impressed by the websites of Blue Cow Yoga and these guys at yogahaven.
I’ll move onto price plans, studio space and instructor styles in the next posts. Please get in touch and let me know if you have any questions about how your yoga website might be seen from a newbie’s eyes.