As private yoga teachers, marketing is a huge part of what we do. In fact, most of us spend as much time marketing as we do teaching in an effort to keep our docket full and manifest new opportunities.
In any service-based industry (yes, that includes yoga), the best form of marketing is word of mouth marketing. Let's start there. Word of mouth is the process of people you know, like, and trust suggesting the services and goods of other people they know, like, and trust. It's referrals, it's solicited and unsolicited suggestions, and it's grassroots.
A Natural Process
This happens organically when you are doing amazing work as a private yoga teacher. Naturally, our clients suggest our services and refer our work on to their friends, family, and other professionals they work with. A snowball effect develops and the word of mouth train continues to chug.
Although it's a natural progression of growing your own practice and having happy clients, it doesn't mean that you can’t help the process along and make it easier for your clients to send like-minded clients your way.
Not all of our clients know we're looking for new clients. Set an intention to work with more clients and don't be shy about sharing the sankalpa (idea, or intention) with your current clients. You can ask them casually at the end of your session, or send them an email letting them know that you are accepting a certain number of new clients and would be open to contact anyone who they think would find value in working with you 1:1.
We have an incredible opportunity to follow-up with clients who refer others and tell them thanks in a way that resonates with our brand and represents what we stand for as private yoga teachers and as a yoga biz.
Don't forget the thank you phase of rewarding students who refer new clients: whether it's via a thank you card, a small gift, or sending over their bonus if you're offering a clear incentive. As customers, we never forget these steps that businesses take that make us feel taken care of and appreciated.
Steps to Turn Word of Mouth into a Robust Referral Network
1. Be clear with your desire to work with more clients and build in a time to let your current clients know.
2. Draft up a sample email or pick a time to mention your referral system to your clients -- build this into your calendar and package timeline so there is consistency of when you tell clients and ask for referrals.
3. Consider incentives and set it up in a concrete system.
4. Usher in new clients via word of mouth referrals.
5. Seal the cycle with a heartfelt thank you.
Word of mouth will organically pick up with momentum as you work with more clients and they have benefits from your sessions, but it's always smart to make the process easier for your clients.
We can agree that marketing for yoga teachers needs to be conscious and mindful, and that extends beyond word of mouth. Marketing that feels good is rich in content, rich in value, and it makes people feel like they are getting something that’s insanely valuable, and there aren’t necessarily strings attached.
Marketing can be paid or it can be free, but when it’s mindfully done, it helps people begin to know, like, and trust the delivery of the marketing and also the person or the business that’s putting out the marketing.
When it comes to a brand that is a solo brand or a solopreneur-style business, like yours as a yoga teacher, it’s really important that your marketing feels mindful and focused on making a connection.
What are your tips for word of mouth marketing? Share them with us below!