Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams.
DOES A YTT SET YOU UP FOR RUNNING A BUSINESS
Not really. There’s no doubt running your own business is hard work, sometimes this can be underestimated. There’s so much more to running a yoga business than rocking up for a gorgeous hour of teaching. You have to keep plugging away: attracting new people to your classes, making yourself slightly different from the next teacher. It’s a challenge, but rewarding and fun trying! I think admin is the bane of most yoga teachers ’lives.
MAKING IT AS A FULL-TIME TEACHER
This is still a work in progress! I teach seven classes a week at the moment and I also work as a sports massage therapist for about 15 hours a week. The two work really well together and often overlap. My long-term goal is to teach more, and massage less. I also try to write regularly on my blog (Shamelessly Me), which aims to help people with anxiety and promotes self-care. I have been running monthly mini retreats, combining all that I do in a three-hour blissful package. I am a Neal’s Yard Remedies consultant too: it’s busy and freakin ’awesome all at the same time! I love the variety, and I think it helps avoid burn out, and staleness. All the strings in my bow complement each other really well.
My advice is to use your skills to learn. I have swapped a yoga session and a massage for marketing and bookkeeping master classes with people I know and trust. The old adage of, ‘You don’t ask, you don’t get ’is so true. I learnt so much from both ladies, and continue to do so, plus they were both super pleased with their side of the deal!
I don’t have an official business plan. I know where I want to go, where I am at and what I need to earn. I use vision boards, mind maps and my journal to keep my business goals on track. I have a rough marketing plan that I am constantly tweaking.
Social media can be a time zapper, but if you set boundaries then I think it’s great. My advice is to be authentic. A good range of content and interactive content has to be the key. I think you need to know in your heart what you want from your social media accounts, that way you have a clear goal with what you are posting. I use Instagram and Facebook mostly, and dip in and out of Twitter. Also avoid bombarding people with posts as there’s nothing more annoying.
My yoga tagline is ‘Move the body, still the mind’. I’m constantly seeing the effects of increasingly sedentary working lives, and daily stresses on the body. The mind is always running off to the next thing, worrying about things that haven’t happened and we all know that levels of depression and anxiety have increased recently. Yoga helped with my anxiety, and although it’s dormant now, it’s still my go to if I’m feeling overwhelmed. I want to share the power of yoga with others.
Self-care is the focus of my business. I really want to encourage people to realise the importance of self-care and not feel selfish or guilty about it. So it’s important I practice what I preach. I make an appointment with myself each day. I literally write it in my diary and I take that time for myself. Either going to a yoga class, going for a run, just sitting, or taking a bath, something that makes me feel good. I try and meditate and write in my journal each day, I certainly feel the benefits when I do.
Written and compiled by Claudia Brown (yogabyclaudia.com)