In Sanskrit, drishti means a point of focus ”“ a spot where yogis rest their gaze during the asana practice to anchor their concentration. In building a yoga business, it is important to create a drishti for your audience to focus on. This takes the form of a clear and memorable message that reaches into the hearts and minds of your clients, with specific benefits that they want to attain in their lives. As a studio owner, this message becomes the guiding light for how you build and run your business. The process is called branding, and in the delicate world of yoga marketing, it needs to be done in a way that resonates with both you and your audience. I”™ve heard business owners say that they thought branding was just for big business. The opposite is true. In growing a yoga business, branding becomes doubly important. To succeed, small companies with limited budgets need to use every available tool to make their unique offer known to their market. A focused brand will help you develop a larger, more vibrant business, and bring your gift of yoga to a wider, deeper audience. “If reading your tagline makes you smile from ear to ear, you”™ve probably got it.” A brand is expressed visually by your business name, logo, and tag line, as well as any images you choose to use. Your brand focuses the direction for all advertisements, web sites and collateral material. Ultimately, a brand is meant to evoke a feeling that inspires people to take action. Unfortunately, as denizens of western culture, we are bombarded by marketing messages hundreds of times a day. Often, it can be maddening ”“ making us run to our meditation cushion, or our mat. However, the truth in any business is that you must get your respective message heard above the noise of the world ”“ especially as your offer is the very antidote to the stress of modern life. Bring to your mind the image of a well-known yoga teacher, studio, or yoga products company. What do think of? Maybe it was Baron Baptiste”™s bandana and his “power yoga”; Shiva Rae”™s passionate yoga Trance Dance; John Friend”™s Anusara yoga and his big, warm smile; or maybe the campy and fun Lululemon clothing company? Everything that entered your mind is part of how these teachers and businesses are perceived in the world ”“ an integral part of their brand. Each of these distinct brands occupies a certain space in the collective consciousness of the yoga community, and instantly identifies the main attributes of their offering. Baron Baptiste is offering you more physical power; John Friend is offering a more joy-filled, graceful life; Shiva Rae promises a passionate vitality; and Lululemon”™s promise is that by wearing their clothing, you will be part of a young, hip, fun new generation of yogis. The feelings associated with these brands are empowerment, joy, well-being, and a sense of belonging. A positive feeling inspired in the reader is the essence of a successful brand. What do you want your current and prospective clients or students to feel about your business? To explore this, ask yourself some questions: – What is special about my offer? – What are the main attributes that make my business unique in the market that I need to reach? – What do I want people to know about my offer that I am personally excited about? – What do I do for my students or clients that I am really happy with? – What is the value that my students, clients or customers will receive from taking me up on my offer? – What makes my business stand out from others in the same yoga market? – What do my happiest clients tell me about the benefits they”™ve received? Using your answers, begin to focus your brand by creating a clear, compelling tagline that speaks to the needs of your audience and establishes your business”™ individuality. A tagline is comprised of a few words that convey to the reader what doing business with you will mean to their lives. If reading your tagline makes you smile from ear to ear, you”™ve probably got it. Make sure it feels right to you ”“ that it conveys the essence of what you would truly like to bring to the world. It needs to be unique enough in your market that people will choose your business over others. Your message should resonate with them ”“ making them think, “Yes! I want that in my life!” By using your distinctive brand at every opportunity and in every communication, your offer will begin to imprint in the consciousness of those whose lives you will touch. People will begin to seek you out to receive the benefits you have so clearly presented. Those people, in turn, will know others who want the same benefits. Branding also provides your existing base of clients with a simple language with which to communicate how they feel to others. The clearer and more focused your brand, the easier your message will spread through your community ”“ helping you build awareness and grow your business. To ensure that your business gets its share of attention, be sure that the presentation of your brand is of the best quality. An excellent logo, well designed ads, and good writing make people notice. People naturally want to do business with those who care about quality in every detail. Once established, refrain from changing your brand, as imprinting your unique offer takes time. Send out clear, repetitive messages in all your business communication, so that when someone thinks of your yoga business, your brand will come to life in his or her mind.As yoga business owners, it is our job to educate the world about yoga”™s benefits. Once we have succeeded in bringing yoga into the life of another human being, we”™ve helped to change their life for the better, and made the planet incrementally more peaceful and balanced. What more can you ask for in a business? NamastÃ©. AlÃ³n Sagee The Yoga Business Coach ™ – 800.399.2977 | yogabusinesscoach.com
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