When you choose yoga as a career there are lots of different paths that you can take and lots of different tasks to complete! There are also shiny objects lurking around every corner.
This means being a new yoga teacher can become quite overwhelming and a bit confusing.
When you’re not sure where to start or what to do next you start to lack focus and this can lead to overwhelm and frustration.
That is why you need to know these five key focus areas that you should be focusing on if you’re just starting out. Even if you’ve been working in your business for a while you can use these focus areas as a checklist.
These 5 key areas are absolutely crucial for all successful online yoga businesses.
Focus area no 1: Understand your WHY
This is about the importance of understanding WHY you’re building your yoga business. Quite often we know what the WHAT is. For example, my WHAT is offering online training courses. That’s the ‘what’ at Digital Yoga Academy.
But the WHY is deeper than that. The WHY is because to empower teachers like you to embrace yoga as a career and share your message so that more people around the world can learn about yoga.
You could say that you teach yoga, that’s what you do. But what is your WHY?
There’s a really good TED Talk by Simon Sinek called The Golden Circle. He talks about how you go about finding your WHY. You should watch this because it will help you to put everything into place.
The WHY really is three circles. You’ve got the big circle, you’ve got an inner circle and you’ve got the smaller inner circle. The first circle is the WHY. The second circle is the HOW. And the third circle, the biggest circle is the WHAT.
In this TED Talk Simon says that most businesses, most people focus on the biggest circle. They focus on the WHAT and even the HOW. But not many of them focus on the WHY except for the businesses that are super successful. Those are the business owners who really nailed down their WHY.
These are a few questions you can ask yourself to start to think about this:
Why did I start this business? Why did I become a yoga teacher? Why did I choose yoga as a career? Why am I doing this? Why is doing what I’m doing really important to me?
Ask yourself why is doing what you’re doing really important to other people and also what kind of impact do you want to make. You can ask yourself these questions to start to get a little deeper into the why of your business. You might not get the answers overnight and that’s okay. Sometimes this takes a little bit of work. It takes experience, getting out there, teaching lots of people and getting teaching experience to fully connect to why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Spend time going through these questions and asking yourself so that you can just really connect to your WHY. If you’ve been running your business for a while now use these questions like a checklist. It’s worth doing because once you understand your WHY, you can then start to get clearer on your messaging.
Focus area no 2: Having a website with a clear message
There are lots of reasons why you should have a website.
Once you’ve got your website set up, you need to make sure that your homepage has a really clear message that speaks to the heart and soul of your ideal students. When they land on your home page, they know straight away that they’re in the right place. They know that the website is for them and they know that you’re the teacher for them.
Do you know that you have three seconds, literally three seconds from when they land on your website to make an impact?
If you don’t make an impact in those three seconds, then those people are going to abandon your site. Think about your own behaviour when you’re surfing the net. Imagine that you’re just starting out your yoga practice and you want to find a yoga teacher. You’re looking online, you have those three seconds to make an impact. So the way you do that is you understand your ideal students.
Another question: Do you understand who your ideal student is?
You could just start to ask yourself some questions or start to ask them some questions.
At the end of the class, you can pull some of your regular students aside who you have a good relationship with and just ask some questions.
Get to know who they are. What do they look like? How old are they? Are they single? Are they married? Do they have children? What type of education do they have? What do they do to earn a living? What books do they read? Where do they hang out? What music do they like? Stop to find out this information.
When you understand your ideal students, you can then start to craft your messaging around that.
It’s important to understand what their pain points are, where are they in their yoga journey and what are their struggles. When you know your market, everything becomes so much easier because you know how to connect to your students.
One important thing to note: Don’t make your homepage about you because this is the biggest mistake yoga teachers make all the time. If the first thing on your website it about you as a yoga teacher, your journey, what kind of qualifications you’ve got and why you took yoga as a career this a big mistake. You will lose the interest of your potential student, three seconds has passed and that person is just going to move on.
Focus area no 3: Choose one platform to focus on at the beginning of your yoga career
Choose one platform to focus on, to begin with, and create original consistent content in that platform every single week.
At the beginning of Digital Yoga Academy, the focus was on building my Facebook group which now has over 8000 teachers in a year. There was always consistent fresh content in the group and lots of visibility.
In the beginning you can’t do everything so get focused!
You can still share content in multiple places. But you want one platform that you really focus on, that you dedicate in terms of engagement, visibility and going live. As your audience grows, then you can branch out onto other platforms.
When we choose yoga as a career and become online teachers, we don’t have a team. We’re not a big company that has a marketing team who have dedicated employees for various platforms.
Not all of your students will be on one social media platform. This is why you need to go back to asking those questions to understand your ideal student.
If your platform is Instagram because your ideal students told you that they hang out on Instagram, then you need to be visible on there in the feed, on stories, lives and video. You need to be creating content just to put on Instagram.
Create one piece of content every week and just share it in multiple places, but choose one platform to really hone in on!
Focus area no 4: Authentic engagement
Spend a little bit of time every single week engaging with your fans and followers on social media.
When you’re sitting on the bus and you’re on the way to a different studio to teach, that’s your time to be engaging with your followers. If people are leaving you messages that you go in there and you answer every single message. If they’re leaving you comments, go in there and respond to everything.
Don’t miss out on having that opportunity to start a little relationship with somebody you know.
Make sure authentic engagement happens on all your social media platforms. Spend a little bit of time every day on it.
Focus area no 5: Create a way to make money while you’re figuring out how to build your yoga business
Some teachers do their training and then they leave their jobs and they hustle trying to get studio classes. They don’t have an income, they don’t have anything coming in. And so they’re really having to hustle around just taking any class just to bring money in to pay the bills. You should have a smoother transition into your yoga career.
Many of you want to get into teaching straight away and you’re really keen to just get started building up your studio classes and everything else. But if you do it that way it leads to burnout.
Maybe you can start off just taking on a couple of classes per week, either early morning or in the evening. Maybe you can arrange with your boss to reduce your hours and do it that way before you see your yoga career take off.
Just start off slowly. If that doesn’t work for you, you could find another part-time job related to what you were doing previously so that you could leave the full-time job and reduce your working hours.
If you have the capacity to freelance, that’s also another good option.
The worst thing is jumping headfirst and then find yourself just getting worn. Take it easy because teaching in studios is just one way to make yoga a career.
There are lots of other paths you can take in your yoga career.
You can run your own classes, you can run events and workshops, you can teach online. There’s a whole world out there and millions of people out there who are just waiting to discover yoga.
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