Allie Van Fossen is an online yoga teacher who has been living her best yoga teaching journey and wants to share how you too can make a good living teaching yoga online.
She’s spent the last four years growing her community around the world, sharing free valuable content, building her email list and constantly learning the essential skills to up-level her yoga business.
Her community is growing from strength to strength and her online yoga courses have generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. In fact one course launch generated $70k during her two week launch period.
She’s now sailing around the Caribbean with her husband in their sailboat and enjoying the ultimate financial and location-dependant freedom that teaching online offers.
Allie shares her inspiring journey with us all below.
1. Tell us about you Allie!
Hi, I’m Allie, an online yoga teacher and inspiration leader. I’ve had the opportunity to teach thousands of people how to start and sustain a yoga practice from their home, through written articles, online yoga classes, programs, and in-person retreats.
I was a former corporate marketing girl who taught yoga in-studio for a couple of years, only to realize that studio gigs would be never get me out of the cubicle – which was the goal!
So, I took my yoga teaching online and four years later, I’m the CEO of a thriving online yoga community – The Journey Junkie – and now cubicle free.
My online yoga community now supports a life of full-time travel, inspiring my husband and I to leave it all behind, buy a sailboat, and live an alternative lifestyle. Right now, we live in the Caribbean and have BIG DREAMS of circumnavigating the whole world!
2. How did you make the transition from full time work to working on your yoga business full time?
I showed up for what I believed in every single day: before work, at lunch, in-between work meetings, after work, and on the weekends.
I chose my budding business many times over socializing, especially when transitioning from a purely blog post format to weekly yoga videos. It was a BIG risk, but worth the investment!
3. What impact has your blog had on your yoga business?
The blog is my business. Without my blog and the free content that I create and share, there would be no flourishing yoga business. I think of it as the headquarters for all things The Journey Junkie: you can read my story, join a free yoga program, practice yoga online, or dive into the hundreds of blog posts. It’s my baby!
4. What role has free content played in growing your community?
It’s the foundation for my platform, and what’s helped me grow my blog into a business, as well as gain a loyal, supportive following on YouTube.
I am on the precipice of changing the abundance of free content that I share, but when starting out, you can’t skip this important step. It’s taken me four years to to build what I have and I’m now just now envisioning a new path.
5. Tell us how you’ve gone about growing your email list and how crucial has it been to the success of your business?
Email is king, this is what I say to everyone who asks me about taking their yoga business online.
I urge people to stop chasing social media, and pour their efforts in creating quality content that people will sign up for (social media will come naturally as a side effect).
My email list is my paycheck, without it, I have no one to sell my products to or invite on retreats.
To grow it, I use a handful of methods:
- a central freebie that’s promoted in my website banner,
- four free yoga programs that I’ve built over time (and run FB ads to),
- weekly yoga videos on YouTube that promote “Joining the Tribe”, and
- specific content upgrades tailored to certain blog posts.
6. What opportunities do you think an online offering such as a course or program offer yoga teachers today?
Online courses are a beautiful connector between the studio and the online world.
They do require a boatload of upfront work, patience, discipline, and courage, but the pay off can be overwhelmingly great.
I envision a world where yoga teachers can design in-studio workshops with add on courses to increase price and in turn, increase their financial freedom. And of course, this model can be tweaked to almost any idea a yoga teacher has (so long as you have an email list to sell to).
7. What strategies did you use to launch your online course?
For every course launch, I create a pre-challenge to introduce the course theme.
This gets my list warmed up, engaged, connecting with me and one another, and in the right mindset to commit and take it one step further.
An example of this in action is, I open a course once a year called the Body Mind Soul Detox. Past pre-challenges were: Align Your Life, Chakra Challenge, and this year will be the Body Mind Soul Reset. These pre-challenges are a mini version of what your course includes, giving your community a taste of what’s waiting!
And the best part, many of my pre-challenges have been recycled now as free programs, giving me another avenue to build my email list.
I also include a 48 hour bonus during course launch time to create a sense of urgency, this is something that many online course creators do and it works! Your bonus can be a physical product or an add-on digital component, you get to choose!
8. What do you think are the challenges that yoga teachers face today and how can an online course and offering help to overcome these struggles?
From my in-studio experience, I witnessed yoga teachers running around like chickens, especially the ones who chose to go all in and make teaching yoga their one stream of income.
I could sense the feeling of being burnt out, overworked, and as a result: disconnected from their personal yoga practice (which we’ve all been there as yoga teachers, it doesn’t feel good).
I believe balancing your in-studio efforts with online offerings is not only a way to create financial freedom, but also energy freedom.
No more back and forth to studios, no more teaching handfuls of yoga classes, no more scraping by on your studio paycheck, no more hunting down private and corporate clients. Yes, you will still have to do these things, but not as intensely and with such a dependence on your energy’s (and bank accounts) vitality!
9. What advice do you have for yoga teachers who want to create engaged online communities and share their message worldwide?
Start your email list, now.
Ask your yoga studios if you can collect email addresses at the beginning or end of class and let them know, you’ll be marketing your teaching schedule, bringing students to their establishment, so it’s a win-win.
In doing this, you can form a deeper connection to your students, inviting them to a weekly or monthly newsletter, your workshops, retreats, trainings, and then online courses! It’s a beautiful domino effect!
I also recommend creating a sense of community through social media, private FB groups are perfect for this (with you being the admin)!
10. Anything else you would like to share to inspire the yoga teaching community?
Yes. Be yourself, your vulnerable, true, and human like self.
People resonate via shared stories, and the more honest you can be (which is frightening at times), the more people connect to you as a yoga teacher, and a yoga friend.
Showing up as myself – flaws, insecurities, proud moments, and everything in-between – has opened a doorway of trust between myself and my community. Being online is scary, but it’s also one of the most rewarding feelings!
If I could tell my younger self anything, my five year ago self, it would be: be yourself, above else.
Listen to Allie’s interview with Melyssa Griffin where she talks about her $70k course launch. <LISTEN HERE>