So you’ve found a studio space, set your timetable and all of your friends have promised they’ll come to your classes. Awesome!
But how do you get the word out to everyone else?
Promoting your yoga studio for the first time can be daunting. And it can be difficult to know where to spend your time, money and energy to get people from the local community through your studio doors.
I’ve had a successful yoga studio for over 5 years, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Without further ado, here are my top 5 marketing tips to keep in mind when opening your new yoga studio!
When I first opened Salt Yoga, I was shocked to see how many local businesses still used flyers and business cards for promotion. I had been fully prepared to make a great website and get active on social media, but I didn’t realize that old-school marketing still had something to offer.
But I adapted! I gave myself a crash course in graphic design (couldn’t have done it without you Canva!), and I made sure that my flyers and business cards could be found all around town.
One of the added bonuses to getting your print materials out there is that your business cards can turn up in unexpected places months or even years after you distributed them. The downside is that traipsing around and asking to leave your flyers can be daunting. Try to tie it in with more pleasant tasks and/or bring a friend for moral support.
If your adaptation isn’t making flyers like me, then it might be something else. You might start a Facebook page when you’re not in love with social media or create a website when you’re not tech-savvy. Stepping outside your comfort zone and being willing to meet your students halfway is important. You’re asking them to come into your space so you need to be willing to make yourself seen in theirs.
An online booking system is key to helping you get the word out while allowing for adjustments. Your system should let you add a web link to your flyers so folks can immediately access the most recent version of your timetable. For example, this is the link that Punchpass gives me for use on my print materials for Salt Yoga:
Why do I recommend this? Because without fail one of your teachers will cancel or change their class right after you get your lovely box of printed timetables delivered. And then you face the horrible dilemma of either scribbling all over your beautiful new flyers or just turfing them all and ordering again.
Your regular prices should be high enough to sustain your studio for many years to come.
It’s tempting to believe that you should set you rates as low as possible to attract more students. But that would be a mistake! You cannot forget that one of your most important jobs is keeping the studio doors open - not just getting students to walk through them today.
Make sure you can confidently say your prices out loud when asked. If they’re too low, you’ll instantly feel like you’re letting yourself down. If they’re too high, you may immediately find yourself bracing for resistance.
The good news is that…
Setting your prices at the right level is incredibly important so make sure you factor in enough wriggle room to offer a sale a few times a year.
Selling a discounted pass (or offering a discount over all of your passes) will get your social media buzzing, give you a great reason to send out a newsletter and gives students who may have been absent for a while an easy opportunity to return to your studio.
If you have space in your classes then remember it doesn’t cost you anymore to have a few more students coming along. Hopefully they’ll be telling other people how great your classes are and the discounts you gave them will turn out to be a great investment!
You know how everyone’s always telling you to “be yourself”? Well that applies to your yoga studio too.
You have to know what you do well and what you don’t care about very much or at all.
I run a very community-based studio – it’s a bit rustic (I did the fitout on a shoestring budget) and very down to earth. Our unofficial catchphrase is “come as you are”. We welcome people from all walks of life to just rock up and do some yoga.
Recently a hot yoga studio opened up down the road – they’re all about the mirrors and the calories and the detoxing. Was I grumpy when I heard they were opening? Of course, I felt threatened and afraid of what it might mean for my studio. But over time I realised they’re not my competition. It’s like a sushi restaurant and a steak restaurant opening close together – some people are going to want sushi and some are going to want steak.
So take the time to work out who you are and what your studio stands for. Practice telling your friends about what you offer and make sure what you’re saying feels authentic. It’s so much easier to promote something that you truly believe in.
Opening a yoga studio is an incredibly exciting and terrifying time! Make sure you’ve done your research, understand your market and your product and have a plan for how things are going to unfold.
And of course some great online booking software will do a lot of the hard work for you. 😉