The yoga market continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, with studios popping up in the most unlikely of places and thousands of new yoga teachers getting certified every year.
What’s so exciting about the yoga industry is that yoga is still new to a majority of the population, and that means that there are seemingly endless sectors just waiting to be tapped. Truly, new students could be anywhere, and it’s up to you as a studio owner to get the word out in as many ways as possible to get people interested in yoga and your studio, and ultimately through your door.
Yoga marketing is just like any other type of marketing: with consistency, patience, and a clear authentic message, you can expect your customer base to grow over time. Here are some new strategies (and a few “oldies but goodies”) to try to expand your marketing efforts.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing continues to be a formidable force in the marketing world, particularly among the younger generations who are likely to be attracted to and stick with a solid yoga practice. Be sure to post regularly on all your social media pages, plugging events but also offering informational posts (such as links to interesting articles) and conversation starters (i.e., “What’s your favorite pose?”).
You might also try to widen your marketing net by joining and reaching out to other online communities in your area. Don’t be afraid of being too active. Social media is a different monster now than it used to be, and while you may be seeing every one of your posts, chances are that most people are only seeing a fraction of them.
- Move beyond Facebook to reach a wider population. Facebook is a great resource for everyone from Gen X to Baby Boomers, but many in the younger generations consider Facebook antiquated and are better reached through other social media forums like Instagram or Snapchat. (See The 10 Best Yoga Instagram Accounts from Buzzfeed.)
- Start early and be persistent. When marketing special events or classes you are hosting at your studio, start your efforts early to give people plenty of notice as to what’s coming. Similarly, don’t be shy about sending out reminders and last-minute marketing calls to boost actual event turnouts.
These days, dedicated yogis are going to want to visit your studio several times a week, so location is important. In fact, most people who visit a yoga studio live or work within a few miles of that studio. So in defining your target market, it’s important to know your neighborhood demographics and then to structure your offerings accordingly. For instance:
- If your studio is located near an elementary school or in a neighborhood with young families, then add prenatal and kid yoga to your offerings to get a bigger draw. (See the Karma Kids yoga studio website.)
- If you are in proximity to a university, then make sure you’re offering a wide range of classes, from beginner to advance, to cast a wider net. You might also consider offering promotions for college students only to attract their attention. Finally, make sure your pricing adequately reflects the “starving student” mentality you’re sure to find on campus. (See the Yoga to the People website for Arizona State University.)
- If your studio is near a retirement home or community, try offering gentle flow and chair classes, emphasizing the important health benefits yoga can have for seniors. (Get ideas from the Yoga for Seniors Community.)
Use these strategies when putting up flyers as well, making sure your promotions and offerings are getting in front of the right people in your neighborhood.
Word of Mouth
Be sure to leverage the connections you have through your studio—namely, your students.
- If you’re looking to grow the studio in general, ask everyone to spread the word to friends and family (both those new to yoga and those looking for a place to practice). You can also run a promotional campaign to this effect (i.e., bring a friend and receive one class free).
- Make sure any new studio classes, events, or launches are announced by all studio teachers at the beginning of class.
Remember, your current students will always be your best advocates for your teaching and for what the studio has to offer.
Through all your marketing efforts, continue to be clear on what your studio has to offer. Let current and prospective students know all the benefits of yoga and the impact it can have on their lives. Making yoga meaningful for the world at large is the best way to create value and attract students to your studio.