March 14, 2014

Heart-Centered Marketing Tips for Professional Yogis.

yoga businesswoman

Let’s face it, we yogis often find marketing to be a painful process.

When we feel we’re ‘forced’ to promote our services or offerings, we feel that it’s salesy, inauthentic and frankly just uncomfortable.

But, that’s the old way of marketing that bigwig ad agencies and marketing firms developed years ago. And, luckily, those methods are not only outdated and old-hat, but they’re becoming more and more ineffective.

There’s a new wave of heart-centered marketing taking hold that is about as far from those old tactics as you can get.  (Thank goodness!)

Yet, even though we may hear there’s a new way to go about marketing our yoga teaching and other entrepreneurial endeavors, it may take some time for these new methods to sink in.

The old ways are so ingrained in our brains and our society that it’s sometimes hard to shake those icky feelings that often bubble up when you realize it’s time to market your latest project, service or teaching.

If you’re ready to rid yourself once and for all your negative notions about marketing, and want to find a way to authentically embrace it for the good of yourself and your business, I want to share four strategies to help you transform the drudgery of marketing into a full-on yogic practice.

1. Give freely.

One of the best, most effective ways to market (and feel really good about it) is to give freely. So, what exactly does this mean?

Give a taste of your expertise for free, that way people get a sense of what it would be like to work with you, and you can feel great about giving them something of value.

Think about a visit to your local farmers market. The stalls that offer little tastes and free samples are always more crowded and ultimately sell more products. The same can apply for you.  Give a little “sample” of what you’re about, and people will thank you for it!

Here are some ideas. Offer a free 30 minute yoga class followed by a discussion to promote your teacher training.  Publish a complimentary weekly newsletter that shares Ayurvedic tips for well-living.  Or, host a free webinar teaching prior to the launch of your online program. Just remember, make sure whatever you’re giving away has a clear and relevant link to your paid offerings. That way, people will get a real sense of what you’re about, which is the entire point of marketing in the first place!

2. Be of service.

When you find yourself shying away from self-promotion, remember that you’re in business to be of service.

We don’t become yoga teachers, holistic healers, and heart-centered entrepreneurs to make a bundle of cash (though that’s always nice too!), we’re in it to help people and make a difference in the world in our own special way.  Always keep that top-of-mind.  Make that your marketing mantra.

If you can bring yourself back to why you do the work you do, and market yourself and your offerings from that place, you’ll find it much easier to share your products and services with the world!

3. Tap into your authenticity.

If you feel like every time you market your business you no longer sound like yourself, your marketing is not as effective as it could be.

To truly make the most of marketing, it has to come from a totally authentic and natural place.  (I know, easier said than done.)

But remember, this is a practice just like yoga or meditation; it takes time, dedication and heart to develop a marketing system that works well and feels really good.

One big red flag that will alert you to inauthentic marketing is when you feel like you should be doing or saying something a certain way. The best marketing is completely custom-tailored to you and your one-of-a-kind business; it’s not about blindly following what worked for someone else.

Explore what feels good, have fun and see how you can bring more of you into your business and your marketing.

And, if you keep the previous two principles in mind, (1) to give freely and (2) be of service, you’re already setting yourself up to share your offerings from a much more aligned, centered place.

4. Throw out the marketing “rule book.”

If your current marketing isn’t working, ditch it. It’s as simple as that. If it doesn’t feel good, isn’t functioning for you and leaves you feeling icky, it’s time for a change.

Sometimes we stick with what’s broken simply because we’re afraid of change, of pushing the envelope, of thinking outside the box.

But, you’re never going to feel great in a challenging yoga pose if you don’t align yourself well! So, throw out your broken system, stop “playing by the rules”, and do something a little radical and totally fun.

Host a 30-day meditation challenge to encourage people to embrace meditation, grow your community and spread the word about your online and in-person meditation courses. Host a free vegan cooking class at your home to promote your catering services. Partner with a fellow professional and plan an educational event as part of the launch for your wellness retreat. Or, write an e-book that outlines 10 yoga poses for chronic stress that people get as a thank you for signing up for your email newsletter.

The possibilities are truly endless! And, there are no bad ideas!

I hope you’re beginning to see that there’s more to marketing than flagrant self-promotion, tabbed flyers and brochures with outdated graphics.

Bottom line, marketing should be as rewarding, fun and fulfilling as the others aspects of your business that you adore. Now, it may take some time to get to that place, but I promise, if you follow these strategies, your marketing will feel less and less like drudgery and more and more like a yogic practice.



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 Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: elephant archives

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