Yoga is currently a booming, thriving industry. As more people have become increasingly health and fitness conscious, there is a growing demand for yoga classes - resulting in yoga studios and private instructors popping up all over the place. A simple Google search for “yoga classes near me” will yield thousands, if not millions of results. So, if you're thinking of opening a yoga studio, how can you make it stand out from the crowd?
The answer is simple: A great yoga business plan and great yoga marketing.
Apart from offering great classes, good planning and good marketing is usually what makes or breaks the opening of any yoga studio.
And the good news? With easy access to the internet and social media, this can be done by almost anyone!
If you're thinking of starting a yoga studio, then apart from yoga teacher training, which I hope you've already done, this guide will help get your first classes off the ground!
Now is the time to rebrand yourself as a yogipreneur!
So let’s get started with some of these ESSENTIAL STEPS that will really help you create a yoga studio business plan and make your studio a raging success!
HOW TO START A YOGA STUDIO: THE ULTIMATE YOGA STUDIO BUSINESS PLAN
Before we start getting into yoga studio marketing strategies, we’ll first need to do our research and develop a business plan.
Imagine you’re going off on a roadtrip with your family. Before setting off, would you just briefly glance at a map and then start driving? No, you’d look up the route and make your vacation plans ahead of time so you can make the most of your holiday.
Similarly, it’s good to plan ahead before you open your yoga studio. Your yoga business plan will be your guide to successfully growing and promoting your business, and will help you ensure that you’re using your time and resources effectively!
Here’s how to develop your yoga studio business plan:
Know your target market: The more you know about your customers, the better you’ll be able to connect with them. Ask yourself what their needs are, research their demographics, and create an ideal client profile. Find out where they hang out online, and what’s the best way to reach out to them.
Know your competitors: Just like your customers, it’s a good idea to research and understand your competition. Who are your biggest competitors? What services/products do they offer? What’s their business plan? Study them carefully, and learn their strengths and weaknesses so you’ll know what to avoid or model in your own business.
Set your marketing goals: Your goals will help guide the creation of your marketing plan, and should fit within your larger business goals. Make sure to set goals that are measurable and achievable, so that it’ll be easier to track your success later.
Now, I know this may seem overwhelming to start with - but it’s important to have a plan in place before opening a yoga studio.
If your business is new, or you’re not sure how to create your yoga business plan just yet, focus on the short-term and create a 90-day action plan first. Set a goal, and plan out how you’ll go about achieving it over the course of the next 90 days. This will give you a clearer picture of your priorities, a realistic working plan, and an idea of the results you’ll generate.
7 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO OPENING A YOGA STUDIO
#1: Find a Place to Give your Classes
Renting or buying a dedicated space
If you're thinking of opening a yoga studio, the obvious first step is to find a place to give your classes.
You could go out and spend lots of money renting and renovating a beautiful new space, but that is probably the worst way to start.
Apart from anything else, it's very expensive, and if it doesn't work out as planned then you're left with high monthly overheads to deal with (rental costs).
Hiring a space by the hour
A MUCH BETTER WAY to start your yoga studio is to find a place that you can rent by the hour. There are many such places in almost every city and town in the world - so look around and see what's available in your local area.
Places like church halls, community centers, fitness centers, and even hotels with conference rooms are all good places to start searching.
This is where your initial research will be important: who is your target market? Where are they located and what type of venue would appeal to them? What is the competition like in the area?
Starting small like this gives you a chance to experiment with various locations. If one doesn't work, you can always try another one and see how that goes.
And another benefit of using someone else's space like this is that they can provide you with some free marketing as they probably already have customers of their own. Community centers and church halls for example often have notice boards where you can pin up a poster.
Eventually, once your yoga business grows large enough, and you can be sure of a steady monthly income, then that is the time to invest in a more permanent space.
But to begin with - start small. It provides flexibility and economy in these very unstable early stages of your business.
Now that you’ve got your location sorted, you’re all set to get your business off the ground with some great, actionable yoga studio marketing ideas!
Starting a yoga studio can be a daunting task, but if you take it step by step following our yoga business plan then you're much more like to make a success of it.
#2: Chose a Name/Domain Name and Get An Awesome Yoga Website
Top on our list of things to do when starting your yoga studio is to develop an awesome yoga website for your studio. In today’s world, it’s absolutely essential to have a solid website and online presence if you want to accomplish your marketing goals and help your business grow.
Your website will be the front door of your business - the focal point where you can direct all your marketing efforts towards.
Choosing a Domain Name:
I put choosing a name and getting a website in the same step, because they should go together. There's no point choosing a name for your business if the domain name isn't available. There's nothing worse than having to use a domain name like www.my-great-yoga-studio.biz
So, one of your first steps will be to visit a domain name provider and get a domain name for yourself. Try to register a domain name in your local country UNLESS you want to promote your classes to a global audience (through online training for example). In this case, choose a more generic .com name.
How will your website help your yoga business?
Your customers will visit your website to:
- Learn more about yoga
- Find out information about your services/products (and buy them!)
- Learn about your classes/instructors/yoga techniques
- Look up your studio’s contact information
- Book slots in yoga classes and events
- Read reviews and testimonials
As you can see, if you don’t have a website, you’ll be losing out on a ton of opportunities to engage and connect with your customers.
Creating a website doesn’t need to be complicated. There are lots of free/paid platforms online to help you create your very own website, like Bookible.
Bookible can help you to instantly set up a professional website that’s clean, simple and refined - for absolutely FREE. Just choose from one of our beautiful, pre-designed templates and start customizing it as you please. (Click here to find out more about how we can help you get your website and booking system set up.)
#3: Create A Mailing List
Once you've got a website for yourself, the next step in starting a yoga studio is to create a mailing list.
It doesn't have to be complicated to start with - just a way for people to sign up to your list so that you can send them marketing materials, special offers, and keep them up to date on everything you're doing.
Why Start a Mailing list?
Email marketing is very effective, highly-economical, and enables you to reach out to a targeted audience - one that is incredibly interested in your niche and what you have to say. If you're thinking of opening a yoga studio, it will allow you to increase brand awareness, reach a mobile audience, and build up a community of loyal, returning customers. And best of all, it’s very easy to customize and integrate with your other yoga marketing tactics.
Starting an email list is absolutely essential as most visitors to your website WILL NOT PURCHASE on their first visit. Getting them to sign up to your mailing list is a great way to keep them engaged and bring them back again until they do end up purchasing.
Here’s how you can do it:
Start with a free offer on your website/social media. This could be anything that your customers would be interested to sign up for, such as a free yoga eBook, a monthly yoga newsletter, or a short video course.
Email regular content. After people sign up for your free offer, they’ll be added to your email list as subscribers. To keep them engaged, you’ll want to start sending them regular emails (usually about 2-3 a week) on yoga topics that they’ll find interesting and valuable. With a system like Bookible, this can be easily automated. You simply write a few emails, set the times that you want them to be delivered (eg. 1 week after they sign up to your list, 2 weeks after they sign up to your list, etc.) and that's it! Whenever someone signs up to your list, they'll receive these automated emails.
You can also send out promotional emails for marketing your yoga studio… but try not to focus too much on selling or people will be likely to unsubscribe. Instead, you could send them awesome content like yoga tips, case studies, links to videos/infographics, or share your thoughts on current trends/hot topics.
TIP: Try signing up to your competitors’ email lists and see what they send out to subscribers. This is a great way to see what works and get fresh content ideas.
You can also check out the video below for more tips on how to do email marketing for your business:
To make things simple, Bookible offers the option to add opt-in forms to your website, so you can easily collect people’s email addresses and begin building your mailing list.
#4: Be Active On Social Media
The next essential step to make your new yoga business a success is to get yourself on social media!
Yoga studios are a type of business that work very well with social media marketing, so you’ll want to take full advantage of these free platforms.
Remember that customer research you did for your business plan earlier? Here’s where you can put it to use - by knowing where your target audience hangs out most online. Chances are, many of them are on Facebook (who isn’t?), but some of them may also be on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Quora and Reddit.
I’ve already done a blog post on Facebook marketing for yoga studios, but here’s how you can use other social media channels to maximize your marketing efforts, build a following, establish your personal brand and make opening a yoga studio a success:
The best way to work Twitter is by using hashtags. Search for hashtags related to yoga topics, and then post content related to those topics. Make sure to include the hashtag in your Tweets! Since the 140-character limit can be challenging, it may be best to use Twitter to link to your yoga blog posts or content on your other social media channels.
This is the best place for you to share high-quality yoga photos. Instagram posts usually have high engagement - especially if you use the right hashtags! You can also organize Instagram yoga contests/challenges, or share case studies and success stories.
This is a great place for you to share infographics and other visual content. If you can’t find any yoga infographics online, make your own!
Big-name yogis like Adriene, Brett Larkin, Lesley Fightmaster and Kassandra Reinhardt have all grown their thriving yoga businesses thanks to their YouTube channels. Start making some professional, high-quality yoga videos, then put them up on YouTube and begin growing a following. Make sure to put a link to your website and other social media channels in your video description.
If you’re worried that you won’t have the time to manage all these different social platforms, don’t be. Either hire someone to manage them for you, or use a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Buffer to queue and post content.
For best results, you’ll want to cross-promote your social media channels, and diversify your content. Bookible allows you to share any page from your website to social media, so you can easily use it to promote your content and blog posts across channels.
#5: Start A Yoga Blog
Next on our list of things to do when opening a yoga studio is: blogging!
Blogging is a great way for you to build your personal brand and share your message with your customers and site visitors. Also, it can help your website to rank higher in Google’s search results with SEO.
Apart from that - it's totally free!
If you don’t have one already, a blog would be an essential addition to your yoga website and should be part of every yoga studio business plan. You can use it to discuss topics that are related to yoga, and invite people to comment, ask questions and share their ideas.
How to start blogging
- Find out what topics your audience likes to read about.
- Create interesting, shareable content on a weekly basis
- Invite people to share your content on social media, or get them to engage directly with your content there on your blog.
You don’t have to limit your blog posts to your own blog. Visit other yoga websites in your niche and offer to write guest posts for them, and get them to link back to your blog or social media channels. This will help you to establish better brand authority, promote your blog and social media, and help drive more traffic to your website.
There are lots of easy-to-use blogging platforms online to help you get started. If you’re not using any of them, Bookible has an in-built blogging platform, which allows you to create quick and easy blog posts to entertain and inform your site visitors.
#6: Share testimonials/reviews and success stories
This is one of the most under-rated tasks when opening a yoga studio, and it is often overlooked.
Testimonials, reviews and success stories are a very powerful marketing tactic, and are invaluable for helping you establish confidence and trust, build empathy with potential customers, and convince them that your classes/services are worth their time and money.
So, add them to your to-do list, and make them part of your yoga studio business plan.
Here’s how you can get testimonials, reviews and success stories for your website:
Approach some of your key customers and ask if they’d be willing to write you a testimonial/share their story.
Ask your clients for feedback and ratings on your classes/services. Even if it’s negative, you can learn from it and improve on things in future.
Ask for a video testimonial after a great class experience. This can be done as a group, or individual videos.
Share your own story! Once you get the ball rolling, others will find it easier to identify with you and will be more willing to share their stories too.
#7: Host a free workshop
This is another great way to help open a yoga studio - because who doesn’t love free stuff?
By hosting a free yoga workshop, you’ll be able to introduce your teaching style and business to an entirely new audience, allowing them to experience what it would be like to attend classes at your studio.
Set the workshop to about two hours or less, and advertise it on your website and social media channels. Get your existing customers to help you spread the word as well.
If you used Bookible to create your website, you’ll be pleased to find that it also comes with an integrated booking system, so you can set up events on your website and link them to Facebook. It’s handy for sharing and promoting, and also allows your clients to easily book slots for classes and events.
#8: Start spending some money on advertising
I've left this one for last, as until you've got everything above done, there's not that much point spending money on advertising.
Once you've got your website, your email list, your blog, and your social media channels set up, with some great testimonials from clients (even your granny!) then NOW is the time to start spending money on advertising.
This way, anyone visiting your site will see you as a professional studio, and will be able to find enough information about you to make a decision on whether or not to join your classes.
Marketing is often about building TRUST, and having all the above things in place will establish your business as a trustworthy place for people to spend their money.
So, once you've done all that, here are a few great places to spend your advertising dollars:
#1 Google Adwords
I've put Google Adwords at the top of this list as it's often the most effective way to gain immediate new students to your business.
People search in Google when they're looking for something, and if they're looking for a yoga studio in your area then you want to make sure they can find you!
There are lots of great articles on Google Adwords Advertising around, as well as some great companies who can help you with this.
Just be careful - it's easy to spend too much money on Adwords, so choose your keywords and your location carefully, and limited your budget to start with.
Make sure also that you track the effectiveness of your campaign through conversion tracking so that you can see which keywords/ads are working for you and which aren't.
Read my article on Google Adwords advertising to find out more about how to do this properly.
#2 Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are another great way to advertise your new yoga business, and I've created a whole series on Facebook advertising HERE.
#3 Posters or flyers in your local areas
Depending who your target market is, simply going around your local area with some posters or flyers can be a great way to get some local people to your classes.
These days people often want something within a short distance of their house, so this is a great way to target those people that you won't get through Google or Facebook.
Newspapers are definitely going out of fashion as an advertising medium, and can be expensive, but depending on your target market, may still work. If you're targeting an older clientele for example, then you could try advertising in a local newspaper that they might read.
How to open a yoga studio - Final tips:
As much as I would like to, I can’t fit all the awesome yoga studio marketing ideas out there into one blog post.
However, I’d like to provide you with as many valuable and actionable suggestions as I can, so that you can create your business plan, grow your business, promote your brand, and get more clients.
So here are some other great yoga studio marketing ideas that may help you to start your new yoga studio:
Get on Google Business Pages.
Do you know those maps that sometimes appear when you do a search on Google? Get your business listed there! Just put in all your business information and click submit. It'll take a few days to go live, but it's great free advertising for your business. Make sure you fill in your business profile as much as possible, and even try to get a few reviews, and this will help it get to the top of the Google Business list.
Do live broadcasts.
Live video is a great way to build the Know, Like and Trust factor with your customers quickly and easily. It also helps you reach out to the people who may be unable to join your classes or events due to time or location constraints. Through live broadcasts of your classes/events, you can get everyone involved, grow your online following and give your business a boost. Some great live platforms to get you started are Facebook Live and Periscope.
Build links to your website.
Link building is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization, which basically means getting your website listed at the top of Google's search results. I've written plenty of articles on search engine optimization in general, but one of the most important strategies is to build links to your website from other websites.
How can you do this?
If there are directories or authority sites (such as yoga associations in your country) then try to get listed on them, and even other studios in other cities might link to you if you ask them. Another great way to do this is offer to write guest blog posts for them, and put a link in your post. The more links you can get to your site from relevant websites (not just any website) the better rank you'll get in Google!
Get press mentions.
Creating a press release is a great way to attract attention and build a good reputation for your yoga studio. Don’t get discouraged if local media won’t feature you - instead, look up online press release websites which can help you publish and distribute your press release articles, like PRLog and PRWeb.
Get listed in local directories.
Make it easy for people to find you online by getting your business listed in Yelp and other local online directories.
By implementing these yoga studio marketing ideas in your own yoga studio business plan, you’ll surely be able to open your yoga studio and take it to the top. Make your yoga studio stand out from the rest by getting creative with your marketing and learning how to think outside of the box.
Finally, consider using a platform like Bookible to help you put these yoga marketing strategies into action right away. Our all-in-one marketing platform can really help you promote your business, build your online presence, and so much more. Learn more or SIGN UP HERE for a free trial.
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If you want to read more, check out my latest post on creating a Yoga Studio Marketing Plan.
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