You’ve planned an amazing yoga workshop. You’ve spent hours developing the program, designing sequences, weaving in teachings, and creating handouts to ensure the content you’re sharing sinks in with your students.
You’ve got everything in place for a stellar yogic experience, right? Well, not quite…now you need to get people to attend!
Planning the workshop is only the first piece of the puzzle – next you need to market your workshop so that the students that could benefit the most get the chance to attend.
This is a missing element that many yoga teachers gloss over or ignore entirely. They casually throw up a few flyers, mention it once to their students, and then are totally shocked with only 3 people show-up for the workshop that took 3 months to plan!
It’s no secret that the concept of marketing makes many yoga teachers cringe. Visions of salesy, non-yogic, pushy car-salesman types pop to mind, and they shut down.
But the truth is, marketing is about sharing your message. It’s about communicating and connecting with the very people that could benefit the most from what you’re offering.
You’re not being pushy or salesy by marketing your workshop – you’re serving your students! If you designed an amazing workshop that your students will love (and I know you did!), they deserve to know about it.
So, the next time you have a new workshop, training, or class coming up, remember to dedicate time and energy to your marketing efforts, too, so that you can fill the room with the people that need your teaching the most!
And, if you need a little extra help and some fresh ideas, keep the following in mind!
Share your solution!
People are always looking for solutions to their problems, so outline the benefits they can anticipate if they attend your workshop. In general, we like to know what our takeaways will be more so than the features of the workshop, itself (for example: we like solutions such as less low back pain, ability to meditate, etc. but care less about knowing that there will be a 40 minute asana practice followed by 20 minute meditation).
Target specific people.
If you have some students in mind that you know will benefit from your offering (perhaps you even designed it with them in mind!), don’t be afraid to talk to them personally, give them a call, or send them an email to invite them. You needn’t be pushy, just open and honest that you believe they will benefit. If they decide not to attend, no biggie, at least you let them know!
Mention it in class!
Take a minute or two at the beginning or end of your public classes to mention what you’ve got going on. Those students are coming to your class for a reason – they LIKE learning from you! Again, remind yourself that you’ve created this workshop for your students, and they deserve to know about it!
Always include information about your upcoming workshops, trainings, and even regular classes in your newsletter, and also send out a separate email blast (or two!) specifically about your workshop. (If you don’t send out a regular newsletter to your students – start! But that’s a teaching for a different day…) Also, post about your workshop on your Facebook Page, tweet about it, and share the details on any other social media accounts you have. Don’t be afraid about being redundant – not everyone is following you as closely as you may think, so show-up in as many places as possible!
Let influencers know.
Another marketing tactic to consider is letting people who have “influence” know about your workshop so that they can spread the word, too. Who do you know who works with people that could benefit from the teachings you’re going to share? Are there yoga teachers, personal trainers, or massage therapists you know that you could ask to promote it for you? Are there other professionals whose clients might benefit? Is there anyone with a larger mailing list than you who might be interested in the work you’re doing? People like helping people, so just ask! The worst they can say is “no”.
Another great thing to do is talk to complementary and similar businesses that might be interested in promoting your workshop in exchange for you promoting them – like Pilates studios, health spas, juices bars, health food stores, any “green” business, etc. Plus, you’ll foster relationships with businesses that you may be able to collaborate with in the future!
Go to your students.
Think about where your students hang out when they’re not in class with you, and put brochures and flyers there. Perhaps your students (and potential students!) congregate at the organic coffee shop, the local Whole Foods store, and of course at the yoga studio, too. Think about where they spend their hours, and show-up there with your marketing. It’s as simple as that!
Ok, so the next time you’ve got a workshop on the horizon, set aside some time to market the heck out of it using any (or all!) of these tactics. And, let me know how it goes!
Cailen Ascher is a marketing maven and yoga entrepreneur - calmbiz.com