Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams
DOES TEACHER TRAINING SET YOU UP FOR RUNNING A BUSINESS
I don’t think it does. Mine touched on the basics of running a business with marketing advice. I think 200-hour teacher trainings are great for the foundation of teaching but not for being a business owner. Finances are such an important part of teaching and something that needs to be discussed more between teachers. I’m lucky as I am from a self-employed family so I know what running a business is like and have advice on tap, but without that I would have been quite unsure.
I don’t have a business plan, I’ve never really been a fan of them as often they are just an approximation of what you would like to happen and have no real grounding as to how and why. My business has two sides to it: the teaching and I also produce and sell yoga props and homewares. So far I have been intuitively working my way through the growth of both. Personally, I prefer to work this way rather than putting pressure on myself and my business to be in a certain place by a certain time. It also means I can react to what clients are after without being tied to a prescribed course.
Use social media as a magazine, not a catalogue or directory. I mainly use Instagram as it appeals to the creative in me. I don’t really use it for a hard sell but instead to create a connection with students or possible customers. It’s great for sharing knowledge, tips and recommendations as well as class times and the products Yogipod sells. I try to give value with everything I share as that is the kind of content I like to see in my own feed. Sometimes it can feel like you are shouting into the abyss but it is also the most amazing tool to meet other like-minded people. I’ve made some really lovely friendships and collaborations through social media.
I’m not sure I have a niche yet but I’m moving away more from the traditional cues for asana and popping more play and free movement into my classes. I’ve always wanted my classes to be welcoming and open to all and I’m exploring how to make them more accessible and inclusive. I’m bringing a light-hearted touch to make students feel welcome as I empower them to gradually explore and feel deeper practices.
SECRET TO MAKING A LIVING
It can be hard to make a living from purely teaching. I have an additional income stream from my Yogipod bolsters and eye pillow to support my teaching and this gives me a creative output. For me, the secret to making a living teaching yoga either full- or part-time is to have support, build a community around you of not only students but also other teachers who have your back and support you too.
Self-care is definitely a work in progress for me. I’m actually not great at switching off or letting go of ideas. I have a tendency to work all hours rather than taking time out. One thing I have always done though is to make sure I have one week day evening off teaching a week so that I have time to stay at home or go and see friends, otherwise your social life can disappear.
Written and compiled by Claudia Brown (yogabyclaudia.com)