11 Free Resources for Taking Your Yoga Business Online
Are financial limitations stopping you from teaching yoga online? There is a common perception that starting a business takes a lot of money. Are you using this as an excuse to procrastinate on your dream? If so, please read on because you might be surprised by how many free resources are available to you right now!
Just to be clear, we agree that it does take some money to start a business, but the amount is so modest compared to the time when your only business option was a brick and mortar location. It’s valuable to keep this in perspective. Gone are the days of paying out tens of thousands of dollars (or more!) for retail space and physical inventory and in are the days of free online resources!
Where should you spend money? We believe that your money is best spent on building a clean, modern looking website and investing in a platform to host your teaching content (check out out our yoga studio software, Namastream).
Beyond creating and hosting your content, many of your other business needs can be handled for free (or close to it). To help you get started, here are 11 of our favorite free tools (complete with explanations for how you could use them). Have fun!
1. Mailchimp – Collecting the email addresses of current and potential students is vital for the success of your business. Mailchimp is an email service provider that allows you to store those emails in a list and send emails (like newsletters) to your subscribers. Mailchimp is our favorite for beginners because it’s incredibly easy to figure out, the help documents and video tutorials are excellent, and the newsletter templates are gorgeous (have you seen our Joy + Hustle newsletter? It’s all designed in Mailchimp). Plus, Mailchimp integrates with Namastream, so if someone signs up for a program on your Namastream site, their email is captured and added to your Mailchimp list. Hooray!
The downside? On Mailchimp’s free plan, you cannot send an autoresponder email to your list. An autoresponder is an email that is automatically sends one or more emails after someone joins your list. The good news is that the paid tier that includes auto-responders is only $10/month to start.
2. Google Hangouts – Webinars are an essential part of your sales funnel (a sales funnel are the steps a stranger goes through to become a paying customer). Webinars are most frequently used for master classes or teaching seminars with a sales pitch at the end (where you would let your viewers know about your course or program). Google hangouts are free and they are integrated with YouTube, so you can benefit from some of the SEO power of YouTube (which is owned by Google).
The downside? Hangouts be a bit glitchy and unpredictable. There is also a thirty second delay.
3. Google Calendar – I’m sure we don’t need to explain why you need a calendar! But all calendars are not created equal. Google Calendar is powerful (and very customizable) and integrates with a lot of other tools, including Calendly which is discussed below.
The downside? It’s not so pretty to look at. But if you’re on a tight budget, you might be ok with the simple fonts and primary colors. We certainly are!
4. Calendly – Are you available Tuesday or Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.? No, but I could do Friday. I can’t do this Friday, but how about next? This back and forth email exchange is painful and a terrible waste of time, isn’t it? Calendly is a game changer in scheduling. It allows you to open up certain hours in your week, and when you send your clients your Calendly link, they can view your schedule and click on the time that suits them. No more back and forth.
The downside? It doesn’t work with iCal (only Google or Office 365) and because of this our entire team has switched to Google calendar.
5. Google Docs – Free, easy to use document creation tool (very similar to Microsoft Word) that allows you to easily share with a team member or collaborator.
The downside? Docs are only available when you are connected to the Internet.
6. Slack – We seriously can’t imagine running a company without Slack. Slack has revolutionized our team communication with it’s live chat function that is organized into different topics or channels. It has replaced long email threads and keeps us organized and on track.
The downside? The notifications are distracting and addictive, but a quick visit to the settings can fix that.
7. YouTube – If you plan on teaching online, please run to your laptop to create a YouTube channel immediately. Although it’s extremely difficult to make a lot of money or run an entire business using YouTube, it is one of the best tools to increase the chances of your clients finding you in a Google search. And people finding you is kind of important, right?
The downside? Getting started with videography can be tricky, but YouTube is definitely a good place to start.
8. Facebook Live – An exciting new player in the online marketing game, Facebook Live has made it easier than ever to reach your audience. You probably have a business page on Facebook and complain about the reach (who doesn’t). Well, everything’s changing with the introduction of Facebook Live. Here’s how it works: using your phone, do a live broadcast from your Facebook page or group. It will play live on your feed and your followers will receive an announcement that you are live. Once you’re finished, the video is saved to your Facebook feed and remains there for people to watch over and over.
The downside? Not everyone has access to the tool yet, but it’s coming. Some complain that it’s glitchy and doesn’t always work. And, from what we’ve heard, it doesn’t play well with Android. Also, live video can be intimidating!
9. Facebook Groups – Another free and powerful marketing tool. To build your community and to become an effective leader in your field, consider creating a Facebook Group. Inside the group, you can connect and have genuine conversations. To learn more about the benefits of running your own Facebook Group, check out this post.
The downside? You must commit to daily interaction with your group members and engage them in conversation.
10. iMovie – In typical Apple style, they’ve created a video editing tool that is powerful and intuitive to use. Most of our Namastream teachers use iMovie to do a little post-production tweaking and save themselves the expense of outsourcing the task or the headache of learning a more painfully-complicated software (Adobe Premiere, we’re talking to you). Here is a whole blog post with simple iMovie editing tips from expert Kaitlin King.
The downside? iMovie takes a little time to learn (give yourself 1-2 hours of frustration), but once you have the hang of it, you’re able to minimize your time spent in post-production.
11. Hootsuite – Automate your social media? Yes, it’s as wonderful as it sounds. You can create your social media posts in batches and use Hootsuite to schedule them to post in the future. By creating a content calendar and batching your work, you won’t feel so overwhelmed with the demand of consistent (and never ending) posting on social.
The downside? It doesn’t post automatically to Instagram.
Want 11 more free resources that we love and use? Head over to our free private business community on Facebook and download the our complete document in it’s entirety (22 Free Resources for Taking Your Business Online). And while you’re in there, introduce yourself and stay awhile. We’d love to get to know you and support you in your business journey.
Looking to take these ideas even further? If you want to learn how to use these resources to create your business, check out our premium Soulful MBA program. The Soulful MBA is the first ever online business community created just for health and wellness professionals — come join us in creating the profitable and impactful business you’ve been dreaming of.
If you found this post helpful, you should check out our Soulful MBA Resource Library — where we have more free tutorials, workbooks, and trainings to help you prepare to launch your online teaching business.
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