Yoga is more popular than ever. The number of American adults practicing yoga nearly doubled between 2007 and 2012, reaching more than 23 million, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. As the practice grows, however, the yoga market has grown more crowded, literally; the Wall Street Journal reports that studio space is in such demand that instructors are fighting for more room, which is not exactly conducive to the relaxed atmosphere yoga requires. In this crowded field, how can you and make your yoga studio stand out to students? Let’s look at what successful studios are doing and take some tips from what’s working for them.
it starts with you
One of the most fundamental pieces of advice is to realize that your personality as an instructor is what makes your studio different. What tone of voice do you use when teaching your class? What is your teaching style? Are you the type of instructor who emphasizes calmness and relaxation, or are you the type who gets your students pumped up and eager to stretch their limits? Are you humorous or serious? Do you lead by example or do you lecture?
Every instructor has his or her own teaching personality. Being aware of what yours is can help you play to your strengths and set the tone you want for your class.
know your students and what they want
Offer students in your area something that other instructors aren’t delivering. This means you need to get to know the students in your area, and you need to visit other studios to see what they’re doing. Talk to students from other studios and from your own and ask what they’d like to see in a class. Study market research, such as the annual Yoga Participation Report 2015 published by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
Find out who your students are and what they want and then deliver it. For instance, you might offer programs that are geared towards mother interested in prenatal or postnatal exercises, people struggling with back problems, or office workers seeking stress relief.
project an attractive image in person & online
The image you and your brand project is essential to attracting and keeping students. This encompasses everything from the way your studio looks and the music you play during class (if any) to the language and images you use to promote your programs.
Tell prospective students your story about why you love yoga. Start substituting for established teachers and take pictures of yourself teaching, and then share these pictures through social media. Hire a professional photographer to take pictures you can use on your website and other digital platforms. You can also find professional yoga stock photos to enhance the look of your website and social media profiles.
Yoga studios that thrive don’t rely solely on regular classes for income, but make extra money by offering additional programs and products, such as workshops and custom clothing. Work in announcements about your upcoming events to your regular classes and emphasize the benefits of attending in the promotional language you use. You can also offer other lines of programs and products, such as private lessons, online lessons and DVDs. Yogipreneur outlines 30 ways yoga teachers can earn extra money.