Burnt out from teaching too many group yoga classes?
Tired of struggling to make ends meet?
Ready to stop trading time for too little money?
Too many amazing yoga teachers are working their buns off to earn a living doing what they love, yet finding it a constant challenge because they’re not making enough money to support themselves comfortably.
The problem is, when we’re constantly teaching group classes, we have little to no time left for other, more lucrative yoga business endeavors, not to mention for ourselves, our families, and our friends.
As a yoga business and marketing mentor (and a yoga teacher myself), I work with yogis from all over the world who are facing this very issue: how can I increase my income while still teaching what I love?
If you, too, are feeling like it’s time for a change. I want to offer you some new, fresh ideas to build a stronger, more fulfilling, and more profitable yoga business.
The thing is, as yoga teachers, we teach because we love it. We didn’t enroll in yoga teacher training to make a ton of money. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t leverage our time, energy and talent to create yoga career that is beneficial not only to our students, but also one that supports our own well-being.
Here are eight fun, creative suggestions to help kick the business up a notch!
1. Host workshops.
Yoga workshops are great for a number of reasons: (1) you get to teach on a topic you LOVE, (2) you can charge a premium for your time and expertise, (3) once you create the workshop material, you can reuse it again and again, and (4) it’s a great way to invite your current students to deepen their practice.
2. Recruit students for privates.
I know, I know, we don’t like “pitching” ourselves to our students. But remember, as a teacher, your ultimate goal is to serve your students to the best of your ability, and sometimes that means inviting them to work one-on-one.
Not sure who to invite to work with you? Consider the students who attend your group classes religiously, people who are always asking inquisitive questions, students with chronic issues (like back pain or anxiety), those who’ve voiced their desire to deepen their yoga knowledge, or those who are recovering from an injury.
3. Create packages.
When you bundle your services, you can make more money. Plus, it’ll save you a lot of “marketing energy” because you only have to sell a package once, and then can enjoy the benefits of repeat business.
For example, incentivize people to sign-up for multiple private sessions by offering a small discount, or an added bonus that reflects another area of your expertise – “register for 4+ private yoga sessions and receive a 30 minute health consultation for free!”.
Or, if you offer monthly workshops, offer a “bulk pass” that comes with a free e-book or guided audio meditation. That way, you’ll increase workshop attendance, and delight your students with a little bonus.
Plus, packages make your students feel like they are getting more for their money, while also enjoying a more well-rounded experience, which means they’ll more likely experience the benefits and see the results you’re hoping they’ll receive!
4. Find referral partners.
Another great way to bring in more business is to exchange referrals with complementary businesses like massage therapists, acupuncturists, nutritional counselors, chiropractors, body workers, life coaches, fitness trainers, karate teachers or Pilates instructors.
Stop by their place of work, or send them an email, when you have a student who could benefit from their services, and in no time they’ll be sending business your way too.
5. Guest teach.
A great way to expose yourself to new students is to guest teach at a teacher training, workshop or conference. Especially if you hold an area of expertise that could complement the training, guest teaching is a fabulous way to make more money, reach more students, and connect with fellow yoga business people.
Even if you don’t think of yourself as an “expert” in any one area of yoga, don’t dismiss this idea too quickly. Do you spend all your free time reading about anatomy? Did you take a 100-hour training in Ayurveda? Do you practice Reiki or Thai massage? Are you an amateur vegan chef? Do you work a lot with athletes, children, seniors, pregnant woman or another specialized group?
I guarantee you hold special knowledge about something that others would greatly benefit from if you dig deep enough.
6. Host a one-day or weekend retreat.
This option is a little more robust and time intensive, but it also has the potential to be one of the most lucrative.
For this, you likely want to recruit one or two other people to help you plan and design the retreat, so the burden doesn’t fall completely on your shoulders.
Again, consider any specialized areas of expertise that you hold, as well as what you’d like your students to take away from a weekend with you.
This option takes quite a bit of advanced planning, and it might be best to test out some of your ideas as smaller workshops first to see how the teachings fly.
7. Teach teachers.
Especially if you’ve been teaching for a while, you may want to consider teaching other teachers.
Now, this doesn’t (necessarily) mean that you have to go out and create your own RYS 200 teacher training – unless that sounds like a super fun idea!
Teaching other teachers, could be as simple as putting together a day-long, weekend-long or multi-weekend training that can count as continuing education with Yoga Alliance.
Again, think of any special knowledge you hold and how that could benefit other teachers. Talk to your yoga teacher peers and see what they would want to learn from you. Getting honest feedback from your desired students is always the best route!
8. Create an online offering.
One of the best ways to take your teaching to a totally new level is to tap into the expansive global market in the form of an online offering.
This could be as simple as an e-book, instructional video or audio teaching, or as grand as a multi-week online course, depending on your interest and comfort.
But, I have to say from personal experience and from working with many, many yoga teachers from all over the globe, taking your business online is one of the best, most effective ways to move beyond the struggle and into yoga biz abundance.
As you test out these ideas, and recognize the awesome income potential from each, then you can begin to let go of your least attended, worst-paying, most draining public classes, and allow your new yoga business endeavors to more than make up the difference money-wise, while freeing up your time, and bringing you more fulfillment. It’s a total win-win-win!
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Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: elephant archives