Aside from, "How do I begin teaching private yoga sessions" inquires, the most common question I receive from yoga teachers is about marketing their private offerings. Yoga teachers are versed in many skills, but often marketing can feel icky and slimy in the wellness sphere (especially for yogis) and is alien to our skill-set. Beyond being a muscle that is underdeveloped, marketing is hard and it takes mindfulness and consistency.
Driving students to your offerings takes time, consistency, and creativity so it can be disheartening when the very students that you’ve channeled into private sessions end up being one time customers or worse, work with you consistently and then never again without cause. Of course, students get busy, schedules change, and priorities shift. These things often have nothing to do with you but the clearer your targeted marketing becomes, the more the perfect-fit students will begin to gravitate towards your teachings.
There are three huge parts to filling a private yoga session – informing the public about the advantages of individualized yoga, getting the students through the door and getting them to continually return. We’ll pay special attention to the latter as we highlight tips for retaining the students you’ve pulled into your private session slots.
Here are some tips to start implementing now with your current private clients:
1. Have your students pre-pay.
Have your students pay for packages instead of individual sessions. If it feels authentic to you, offer a discount when they buy a larger package deal and consider offering only packages options. Go the extra mile by creating a package deal that includes not only a recurring appointment time but also some excellent bonuses that will aide your client in their yoga practice and home practice.
2. Schedule the next appointment
Take a note from other health providers and schedule your next appointment at the current session. In fact, consider scheduling all of the sessions of their pre-purchased sessions at the same time. Create a schedule, a routine, and pen it in. For extra credit, get your clients to stick to a recurring session time with a regular appointment. Then you can begin to carve out the times YOU want to work.
3. Get your client invested
When you provide individualized yoga, you're helping the client create a yoga sequence that caters to their bodies, so it pays to get detailed about what it is that you plan to work on and through. Getting them excited about what you're working on so they continue to invest in energy and time. Ready for an action set? Come up with three ways that you can deliver bonuses to your clients in-between sessions to up the investment level (these don’t have to be costly). Think emailed worksheets or discovery dives, hand written thank you notes, and check-ins.
4. Don’t be shy about giving them a plan
It’s especially important for you to emphasis the frequency of their personal practice and the spacing of the sessions. If seeing them once a week in the beginning is ideal for their progress, make sure this is communicated and expressed during scheduling. Your clients are looking to you to come up with a treatment plan and they want to hear your expert opinion – give it to them!
5. Reminder emails or calls
Most wellness providers use some sort of reminder system for their clients/patients – there is a reason! If you have students come to you, consider setting up your own system where you remind students of their appointment date through email or a phone call. At the very least, write down the date and time of the next appointment on the documents you give them at the end of your session. You may even want to invest in appointment booking software that does this for you.