21 Ideas for Growing Your Online Yoga Business
Launching your online yoga, wellness, or coaching business is an exciting and challenging first step. Creating your initial online presence takes courage (#bebrave) and requires some deep strategic thinking. But what happens next? Once you’ve designed a spectacular website, signed up to teach classes through Namastream, settled on the best email list management tool for your needs, and secured your social media accounts … how do you build your following? There are nearly infinite ways to do this. In addition to obvious business-building tactics, you can leverage hundreds of small, personal actions and activities to attract new readers, clients, and fans. Since we know you’re busy, we’ve narrowed it down to 21 of our favorite simple but often-overlooked strategies to help you boost your growing online wellness business.
1. Take advantage of targeted ads
Shelling out for advertising can be painful, but nowadays every dollar you spend can get your message out to people who genuinely want to hear it. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all allow you to target ads to a specific geographical location, with Facebook offering additional interest-based customization. Using geo-targeted ads to promote in-person classes and workshops to people in your area is far more effective than blanket-promotion. And if your business is done exclusively online, hone in on self-identified yoga enthusiasts in your ideal client age group to promote your web-based services.
2. Position yourself as an expert on Quora
Since you want to build your platform and establish yourself as a subject-matter expert, don’t be afraid to spread your knowledge around a little. Quora is a website that allows users to submit questions and get answers from experts. Spend some time exploring yoga and wellness topics to identify any questions that you can answer clearly and concisely. The site does have some issues with SPAM in both questions and answers, but planting your business name in multiple places around the web can still benefit you, SEO-wise.
3. Host a giveaway
Never underestimate the power of FREE STUFF. Some potential customers will become intensely devoted to your content if it includes the occasional giveaway. Facebook has multiple apps that make hosting giveaways simple, though RaffleCopter is a great way to manage giveaways across multiple platforms, including your blog. Be sure to ask for something in return: a Twitter or Instagram follow, email list subscription, or blog post share in exchange for a giveaway entry. In terms of potential prizes, you can offer a free one-on-one session, a spot in one of your retreats, or a trendy piece of workout gear.
4. Join and participate in r/yoga
The message boards of Reddit can be overwhelming to navigate, but this discussion aggregate can also be a fantastic place to boost your visibility. Poke around Reddit.com/r/yoga to join conversations and answer outstanding user questions. This subreddit is a vigorous community that includes many active and serious yogis. Join them to network and share your expertise.
5. Launch an Instagram challenge
Instagram remains one of the most popular and widely used social media platforms, and thousands of yogis leverage its reach every day. Simply posting yoga-related images or photos of your wellness practice can help … but to get followers more engaged, consider creating a challenge. Offer something that will nudge them toward kicking a bad habit, deepening their practice, or even just casting aside their fears and trying yoga for the first time. Want proof this works? Kino MacGregor’s monthly challenge in partnership with AloYoga brought her past the 1 million follower mark.
6. Support a cause you care about
Don’t let yourself get so siloed that you forget to network outside your subject area! Attending events, offering your services as prizes for silent auctions, or even partnering with a charity or NGO for a blog post series helps you appear multidimensional and helps you cross-promote your ideas and offerings.
7. Get testimonials
Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to secure new business, so if you have an existing student or client base, start requesting testimonials. Reach out to folks you know are big fans and request 2-3 sentences describing their experiences working with you. Create a “Praise” or “Testimonials” section on your website for potential new clients to peruse. (Bonus points if you can get a few short video testimonials!)
8. Share client success stories
How have your services or teachings helped clients? Have you lessened someone’s chronic pain? Helped people sleep better? Eased anxiety? Testimonials that come directly from the clients are ethos-building gold, but digging deeper into a single client’s story has value, too. Again, reach out to your superstar clients—the ones you know you’ve helped in a lasting way—and ask if you can interview them for a blog post. Some people need hard proof before they’ll believe in a method or practitioner. Share the stories of clients whose lives you’ve transformed, and you’ll further solidify your position as an expert.
9. Tell YOUR story
You might think potential new clients will be less interested in your journey and more interested in how you’ve helped past clients. And some may. But most wellness practitioners and coaches have fascinating and utterly relatable stories about how they chose and built their businesses or why they went into wellness in the first place. Sharing your path helps create personal connections, gives you depth, and boosts your credibility. Don’t be shy about telling your own story.
10. Beef up your email list and send strategic emails
We spent an entire month dedicated to this topic, so you know we mean business! Pick the right email tool for your business model, strategically build your email list, and craft emails you’re proud of. Building and leveraging your email list is essential to any modern business. Period.
11. Assemble an opt-in reward for your email list
Whether it’s a short meditation recording, a multi-page ebook, or a coupon code, rewarding people who sign up for your list is a proven way to attract new subscribers. And subscribers are essential to online success.
12. Share great content from other wellness experts
Here’s a social media secret we wish more practitioners knew: sharing great content written by like-minded people benefits YOU. Yes, you need to promote your own offerings and work, but pushing out interesting articles, alluring giveaways, and helpful tips from other sources builds your reputation as a caring educator and dedicated community-builder. Try a balance of 60% you, 40% everyone else.
13. Appear on podcasts
Launching your own podcast is a time-consuming endeavor (trust us), but appearing on someone else’s can be a relatively low-impact commitment that gets you more bang for your buck. Track down wellness-focused podcasts – like Wellness Wonderland, Yoga Revealed, or Healers – and pitch a story to the hosts. You give them great content, and in return they introduce your work to their established listening audience.
14. Speak at your local library
Investing time in your local presence might seem pointless if you conduct most of your business online, but establishing your expertise anywhere and everywhere is always wise. Hosting a free Q&A at your local library or offering a pared-down workshop will connect you with some folks in person, but also get your name and face on promotional fliers, on the library’s website and social media, and possibly in the newspaper’s calendar listings. Even people who don’t attend are likely to remember your name next time they see it. And if the event itself is a bust, you’ll have practiced promoting an event and speaking in public, two invaluable skills.
15. Join Facebook groups
Facebook’s algorithms have stacked the deck against new businesses—especially those unwilling to pay to boost their posts—so launching your own Facebook page is necessary, but unlikely to increase engagement. Frequenting and connecting through established Facebook Groups, on the other hand, is a marvelous way to build your network. Since group members have actively opted in, Facebook prioritizes posts from within the group when assembling individual feeds. You’ll see group posts floating to the top of your personal feed, and so will other group members. Seek out wellness-focused Facebook groups, join up, and start connecting.
16. Host a free (short) online workshop
Use Google Hangouts or Namastream to host a free online workshop that introduces people to your philosophy and services. Make sure to structure the session so it’s just a teaser, and leaves them wanting more … then give clear instructions for digging deeper through paid offerings. (A mini workshop like this is a great opt-in. See item 11 for details.)
17. Blog consistently
Cooking up a meaty, insightful post every week can be challenging, but it’s well worth the energy investment. You need to create an engaging, personality-packed body of work that helps interested clients get to know you. You also need content to push out through social media. Create a schedule, and stick to it. (Running low on blog post ideas? Here are 100+ topics and strategies to help you out!)
18. Guest post on related blogs
Securing guest post spots is an art form and cold-calling on established bloggers almost never works. You need to stalk them on social media for a few months, leave comments on their posts consistently, and THEN try reaching out. When you do, send specific ideas that you know will play well with their readers, and include a few links to your best writing samples. Also consider submitting to Elephant Journal or Mind Body Green, both of which accept cold pitches.
19. Create and share video content
If you’re a Namastream client, you already know the importance of getting comfortable in front of the camera. Creating content to share outside your virtual classroom is a proven way to draw in potential new clients. YouTube is the most well-known purveyor of online video, but don’t overlook Facebook Live and Periscope as potential video venues. Speaking extemporaneously, highlighting your personality, and creating the unique connection that’s only possible through video can only help build your brand.
20. Secure press coverage
Start local: Pitch some stories to local TV, radio, and print outlets. Make sure your pitches are timely and specific, since “I’m an awesome local wellness practitioner!” won’t be enticing or robust enough to build a story around. Seasonal angles are always popular, as are self-help focused topics. Then think bigger and set your sights on national press. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online community that connects journalists to potential sources, and absolutely anyone can be a source! Sign up for email alerts specific to health and wellness, then connect with any reporters looking for quotes or expertise in your area of expertise.
21. Partner up
Symbiotic relationships are a great way to build connections and attract new business. If you have a studio or other physical presence, consider co-hosting a free event with another local entrepreneur. You can connect with another healer – you teach yoga, they practice Reiki – or collaborate with an unrelated business like a boutique or wine shop. Create an alluring, short, free event where you both can introduce the local populace to your offerings. Or if you really want to keep your focus online, join forces with two other yoga teachers for a rotating series of blog posts. Contact your favorite fitness clothing company to see if you can guest post on their blog or review one of their products on yours. Find creative ways to cross-pollinate with like-minded businesses and practitioners. Doing so will benefit you both.
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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