You’ve done your training, you’re psyched to be building your yoga business, but your heart kind of sinks when you realize just how many other yoga teachers there are in your area.
Your inner critic is whispering in your ear, Why would someone pick you, the newbie, when there are so many awesome teachers here already? When you started your training, you didn’t think much about the business side of yoga, and now you’re wondering if you’re actually cut out for this at all.
It's a tough situation. The realization that although your real passion lies in teaching yoga, you're going to have to spend some time working on the business side of things in order to get people through the door. Here’s the thing: No one can see how awesome a teacher you are if they don’t come to your class.
So what to do? How can you stand out in this overcrowded market? Sure, you can take a look at those people who are achieving incredible success and find out how they built their business. But there's already one thing you have that no one else on the planet can offer: YOU.
No one else has the unique blend of experiences, values and knowledge that you have. Nobody has walked your path. Sure, maybe they did the same training program as you, or they teach the same style of yoga, but the bottom line is that your very best marketing tool is your authenticity.
Think about it. If you try and market yourself in the traditional way, you’ll stick yourself on the same shelf as everyone else. A generic yoga teacher. It doesn’t mean you’re not an amazing teacher, but it does mean you’ll be competing with every other yoga teacher out there.
So how do you infuse your yoga business with your own uniqueness?
1. Tell your story.
We humans relate to each other by telling stories, so start by telling yours. How you found yoga (or how it found you), how your journey led you to this point, what struggles you’ve had along the way, what lessons you’ve learned, and how you came to knowing that being a yoga teacher was your calling in life.
2. Be 100% authentic.
There’s nothing worse than seeing someone try to be something they are not. The dumbest thing you can do in your yoga biz is try to be the cookie-cutter yoga teacher, if that's something you’re not. What do I mean by that? Well, maybe you don’t start your day with a green juice; maybe you actually crave a coffee. Maybe you’d rather watch reruns of Keeping Up with the Kardashians than practice your chanting. It’s OK! But make sure you own it. Walk your talk. People will love you for it. Oh, and by the way, the people who don’t? You probably don’t want them in your class anyway.
3. Find a tribe.
Once you start showing up as you every single day, you’ll start to attract people who resonate with you. But you can go further than that. Delve into the idea of finding your tribe; really explore where your kind of people hang out. If you’re into juicing, get to know the peeps at your local juice bar. If you’re a snowboarder, go hang out with other snowboarders. Not only will you meet awesome new people (who will be stoked to find a yoga teacher who’s into the same stuff as they are), but all sorts of amazing opportunities for collaborations will show up for you.
4. Give more.
Think outside the box. How can you give more to your students? How can you blow them away with kindness? Maybe you make a playlist for them once a month, maybe you share book recommendations. If you’ve told your story, are being 100% authentic and have found your tribe, then you’ll know exactly how to serve your yoga class. Share the stuff that you love. If you’re a surfer, maybe you plan a group surf lesson for your class. If you are insanely passionate about tea, maybe you bring some for the end of the class. Treat your yoga peeps like your besties.
It's time to celebrate your uniqueness!