Advice Requested: How to Market Myself as a Yoga Guru

by Dani C
25 replies
Hi All! A friend recommended I join this forum as I'm looking to market/brand myself, my services and my products online. I'm a 24-year-old yoga teacher, and although I've built up a fair following on Tumblr and Facebook, I'm ready to take my business to the next level.

So, I've been reading up for the last week and have formulated a plan. I'd be really grateful if anyone could advise if I'm thinking along the right lines or not!

1. Buy domain (I intend to brand my own name as I'll be marketing several holistic-related services) and hosting (can anyone recommend good UK hosting?).

2. Design website: a friend who is a pro has offered to do this for me in exchange for four yoga lessons.

3. Get an autoresponder account.

4. Write a free ebook (that solves a problem) as an incentive for subscribers.

5. Create written content for website (I have dozens of posts from my Tumblr that I intend to repurpose).

6. Create video and audio content (YouTube will be a major part of my marketing offensive).

7. Start writing one or two 2000-word blog posts per week that solve problems (to be sent automatically to subscribers).

8. Look for guest post opportunities.

9. Once my website is established, write a longer ebook to sell to subscribers (and/or Kindle).

In addition, I will of course have a Services page where I'll offer teaching and Skype consultations.

My long term goals for my website are to help as many people as possible, and to create opportunities for myself to teach and lecture abroad.

Thank you in advance and Sat Nam!
#advice #guru #market #requested #yoga
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Sat Nam!

    Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

    can anyone recommend good UK hosting?
    Yes; HeartInternet is particularly good, and their customer service extremely helpful, but I don't quite understand why you'd want UK hosting, from my impression of everything you've described above, and its purpose.

    Your plan sounds interesting, to me. You've mentioned lots of good things. But not a traffic-generation plan, anywhere in there? (I appreciate that you may want the website for validation/branding, in the circumstances, rather than for traffic-generation per se).
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    • Profile picture of the author Dani C
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Sat Nam!



      Yes; HeartInternet is particularly good, and their customer service extremely helpful, but I don't quite understand why you'd want UK hosting, from my impression of everything you've described above, and its purpose.

      Your plan sounds interesting, to me. You've mentioned lots of good things. But not a traffic-generation plan, anywhere in there? (I appreciate that you may want the website for validation/branding, in the circumstances, rather than for traffic-generation per se).
      Hi Alexa! Thanks for the suggestion on HeartInternet. I will check them out toot sweet. Might you have a suggestion for an autoresponder? (I'm budget-conscious, but am happy to spend on the correct tools in order to make my online business as professional and trustworthy as possible.)

      Sadly, I know nothing about traffic generation. But that's precisely the kind of answer I was hoping to receive, because it looks like I need to find out!

      Would guest posting help me get any traffic? YouTube?

      I'm absolutely open to suggestions, so thanks again for all the help. Is there a particularly good article to read about traffic generation?
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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        Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

        Might you have a suggestion for an autoresponder?
        I always see the choice as between GetResponse ($15 per month, the last time I looked) or Aweber (about $20). It's something to get right the first time, because "changing" is extremely inconvenient, and that's putting it mildly. I'd stick with a very long-established, well-known, reliable, professional one - i.e. choose one from those two.

        Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

        Would guest posting help me get any traffic?
        Yes, certainly. That's a very good way to get traffic, and a very good type of traffic to get, too.

        Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

        YouTube?
        I can't help you with that one: I know nothing about it, really.

        Publishing content just on your own site isn't really "traffic-generational" at all: the only traffic that can ever bring you is some gradual, eventual search-engine traffic, which isn't typically much use anyway. Publishing it on the sites of other people who have the already-targeted traffic you want to attract (of which guest blogging is one example) is likely to be much more productive. (Not that they're mutually exclusive things to do, at all, of course!).

        Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

        Is there a particularly good article to read about traffic generation?
        I'd start here, perhaps: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ffic-tips.html
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        • Profile picture of the author Dani C
          Autoresponder advice gratefully received, Alexa, and the traffic article link has been bookmarked.

          Before yoga, I wrote freelance for a few magazines. So in addition to guest posting for websites I'll also be pitching some articles to yoga magazines and other trade publications. Hopefully that might be good for traffic.

          Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction to marketing with YouTube? (There's a lot of competition on there in my niche, but I have a couple of Unique Selling Points that I intend to focus on.)

          So pleased I joined the forum and had the courage to post. The answers have been so very helpful, and I'm extremely grateful. Thanks so much.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

            Before yoga, I wrote freelance for a few magazines. So in addition to guest posting for websites I'll also be pitching some articles to yoga magazines and other trade publications. Hopefully that might be good for traffic.
            It sounds absolutely ideal. (That's how most of my own business was built, really. In my experience, that's about the best and most responsive sort of traffic you can get.)
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            • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
              You skipped an important step! How will you brand yourself? This is the foundation of your success. All the rest is mechanics.

              You need an angle that enables you to be perceived as different from the 240,000 other yoga teachers out there and gives a defined audience a reason to follow you instead of the others.

              Without this, you're all twisted up without a shot at stardom.

              Good luck finding your uniqueness,
              Marcia Yudkin
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              Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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              • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
                I believe Sean Mize has a terrific product here on one of his recent WSO's on how to become a guru in a crowded niche.

                His WF name is mizesean and you can just search the threads he started to find his WSO's and work your way down the list. His stuff is excellent!

                Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author TrustedSEO
    Hi,

    Sounds like you have everything already planned out. All you've got to focus on now is remaining DEDICATED..

    Goodluck,
    Greg
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    • Profile picture of the author Dani C
      Originally Posted by TrustedSEO View Post

      Hi,

      Sounds like you have everything already planned out. All you've got to focus on now is remaining DEDICATED..

      Goodluck,
      Greg
      Hi Greg!

      Thanks so much for the vote of encouragement!

      Dedication is something I have in abundance. Yoga is my Everything, and to help others is part of the deal. Marketing myself will be easy as long as it involves helping others.

      Sat Nam!
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    You may have already considered this but just in case I would like to mention that if you build a brand around yourself it makes for a difficult exit strategy should the online presence ever generate decent revenue and you want to sell. Further if you ever accidentally run over a litter of puppies and your name becomes MUD that can have a pretty huge impact on your business too.

    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Dani C
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      It sounds absolutely ideal. (That's how most of my own business was built, really. In my experience, that's about the best and most responsive sort of traffic you can get.)
      Superlative news!

      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      You skipped an important step! How will you brand yourself? This is the foundation of your success. All the rest is mechanics.

      You need an angle that enables you to be perceived as different from the 240,000 other yoga teachers out there and gives a defined audience a reason to follow you instead of the others.

      Without this, you're all twisted up without a shot at stardom.

      Good luck finding your uniqueness,
      Marcia Yudkin
      Hi Marcia. You're so right about this, and I should have mentioned that I have already worked very hard on establishing two specific unique selling points. I have 15,000 followers on Tumblr and a similar amount on Facebook, so I really should have set up my own website a long time ago.

      My areas of expertise are quite unique, as is my target audience. So, it is the "mechanics", as you say, for which I've come here to seek advice.

      Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post

      I believe Sean Mize has a terrific product here on one of his recent WSO's on how to become a guru in a crowded niche.

      His WF name is mizesean and you can just search the threads he started to find his WSO's and work your way down the list. His stuff is excellent!

      Good luck!
      Thank you so much! I will indeed look into that. (Though I confess the WSO section has overwhelmed me on the few occasions I've ventured inside!)

      Originally Posted by plessard View Post

      You may have already considered this but just in case I would like to mention that if you build a brand around yourself it makes for a difficult exit strategy should the online presence ever generate decent revenue and you want to sell. Further if you ever accidentally run over a litter of puppies and your name becomes MUD that can have a pretty huge impact on your business too.

      Good luck!
      Interesting angle, which I confess I haven't considered. My name, for better or worse, is already "out there", as it were. Additionally, if I can't take full responsibility for my actions, I have no place as a yoga teacher. But thank you for your thoughtful input.

      And, indeed, thanks again to one and all. I've just signed up to HeartInternet after reading a lot of excellent reviews that support Alexa's recommendation. Feeling very excited!
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  • Profile picture of the author Trivum
    You mention that you're going to use YouTube, and that's smart. That could easily be your main traffic generation source. These days when people look to learn yoga (and other similar things), they often go to YouTube. In fact, when there's anything physical like that involved, a lot of Google's first results are often YouTube videos. Not always, of course, but often.

    (I have a friend that I help out from time to time in a somewhat similar niche. So this comes from experience.)

    And so what I would do if I were you is throw most of my energy into YouTube. That's where you can create your brand, and that's where you can start to generate leads. There are lots and lots of people in the exercise/health area that have essentially made their careers via YouTube.

    And so I would go find a few people there who seem to be pretty successful and analyze exactly what they're doing. Look at the videos, look at their channel, etc., but then follow their links back to their sites and see what they have going on there. See how they try to get you on their mailing list. Then sign up for their lists and see how they do things. I'd create folders in my email account for different people and then keep those emails so you can reference them.

    While it may be best to look at people who seem to have your basic style, you might look at people outside your style as well. They may give you ideas that a number of the people you feel closest too don't incorporate. For example, if you look at guys in the strength building niche, they may do some things (just basic marketing tactics really) that someone in the yoga niche might not normally do because it seems a little too aggressive for them. You could tone down the aggressive edge and put your own spin on it.

    I'd also consider taking a course on marketing with YouTube. I don't know who has the best course there. You'll have to search around here.

    A quick search turned up this thread (don't know if there's anything there or not): http://www.warriorforum.com/internet...ng-course.html

    In fact, taking a good course may be the first thing you should do. It will not only introduce you to YouTube marketing specifically, but it will introduce you to the basics of internet marketing too. After that you can go to YouTube and start analyzing. Then you'll have a better idea of what you're looking at.

    But you want to make sure you get a very good and complete course. A lot of people here are often trying to sell cheap tricks that usually consist of spamming and subterfuge in one way or another. Don't go for cheap. Find something a lot of people recommend, and really study it. It will probably cost you a few hundred bucks at least. Well worth it.

    Good luck with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      So many have given answers and I am gonna give some advice that might be at odds. Check out Veerotech for hosting as they have a UK data center. It is who I use and they know their stuff.

      As for auto responder, because I am assuming you run in person classes, I am going to suggest Mailchimp over Aweber or GetResponse and for a couple reasons. 1, they have a beautiful iPad App (free) that your students can sign up and it syncs with your Mailchimp account. Second, if you ever do things like a fishbowl or a guest class, being able to take those emails and import them is important. You can do it with aweber and getresponse but it sends an opt-in email. With mail chimp you can import it without the optin (all perfectly legal). On top of that, its cheaper when starting out ($10/month for up to 500 subscribers).

      I would actually look at a home study course with video to sell over just an ebook or kindle. In fact I would go beyond what many do on here and actually consider making it a physical product (DVD's). You can charge a heck of a lot more for it (3 to 4 figures) as it has a lot more value then a $19 ebook or kindle book.

      Remember in a pinch, you can use a custom domain on your Tumblr profile. All you would need to do is add your optin form to the sidebar of your tumblr account and you have a fully ready website with 15k followers while you slowly build the website, if at all.

      If you want a good course that will teach you how to do gorgeous video (yoga for example) send me a message and I will point you towards the resources I used.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dani C
        Originally Posted by Trivum View Post


        A quick search turned up this thread (don't know if there's anything there or not): http://www.warriorforum.com/internet...ng-course.html

        Good luck with it.
        Thanks, Trivium, for your extremely helpful post. The link you posted above took me to YouTube's own course in creating videos... so useful. My mind is spinning somewhat, but I have long understood that video is key in my field so your response was particularly helpful. Much obliged.

        Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

        So many have given answers and I am gonna give some advice that might be at odds. Check out Veerotech for hosting as they have a UK data center. It is who I use and they know their stuff.

        As for auto responder, because I am assuming you run in person classes, I am going to suggest Mailchimp over Aweber or GetResponse and for a couple reasons. 1, they have a beautiful iPad App (free) that your students can sign up and it syncs with your Mailchimp account. Second, if you ever do things like a fishbowl or a guest class, being able to take those emails and import them is important. You can do it with aweber and getresponse but it sends an opt-in email. With mail chimp you can import it without the optin (all perfectly legal). On top of that, its cheaper when starting out ($10/month for up to 500 subscribers).

        I would actually look at a home study course with video to sell over just an ebook or kindle. In fact I would go beyond what many do on here and actually consider making it a physical product (DVD's). You can charge a heck of a lot more for it (3 to 4 figures) as it has a lot more value then a $19 ebook or kindle book.

        Remember in a pinch, you can use a custom domain on your Tumblr profile. All you would need to do is add your optin form to the sidebar of your tumblr account and you have a fully ready website with 15k followers while you slowly build the website, if at all.

        If you want a good course that will teach you how to do gorgeous video (yoga for example) send me a message and I will point you towards the resources I used.
        This post is so full of bespoke ideas and expertise that I don't even know what to say, except THANK YOU!!!

        I will indeed send you a message.

        Once again, I extend my gratitude to everyone that has responded. What a very knowledgeable and generous community.
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        • Profile picture of the author Trivum
          Originally Posted by Dani C View Post

          Thanks, Trivium, for your extremely helpful post. The link you posted above took me to YouTube's own course in creating videos... so useful.
          That's probably a good place to start. You will definitely get some good, solid basic tips there. But a good video marketing course not produced by someone like YouTube will probably teach you how to do the marketing aspect of it better.

          This is just one tiny example, and not a "strategy" by any means -- one trick to get your other videos to appear in the sidebar when your video is playing is to give them all a very unique tag that no one else will be using. These are the types of things you'll learn in a good course that YouTube would probably never tell you.

          Anytime Google is behind something, you can be assured of one of two things: either they're withholding very important information from you, or they're flat out lying to you. (sad, but true)

          Another option, of course, is to look on YouTube itself for people giving tips and strategies. That's a good place to look because you can see if they're actually successful with their own videos. Of course some things can be manipulated, but you can usually get a sense if it's real or not.
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      • Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

        I would actually look at a home study course with video to sell over just an ebook or kindle. In fact I would go beyond what many do on here and actually consider making it a physical product (DVD's). You can charge a heck of a lot more for it (3 to 4 figures) as it has a lot more value then a $19 ebook or kindle book.
        With the right branding, you could actually sell more physical products and videos. You could branch out from yoga videos and books to creating other products that promote a healthy lifestyle that's still centered around yoga. That way, you could expand network and create a bigger market for your products.
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  • Profile picture of the author JaysonH
    Originally Posted by Dani C View Post


    9. Once my website is established, write a longer ebook to sell to subscribers (and/or Kindle).
    Everything looks good except I would change #9.

    Yoga is very interactive. I would replace the eBook with video lessons. I don't think it would be very easy for someone to follow a yoga lesson while reading an eBook.

    EDIT: I saw someone already posted this so I will just say that I second their comment.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    OP, do research on how SoulCycle setup their business.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    Umm, you seem to have a reasonable understanding of what's needed etc.
    My question is where are you going to find time to do all that plus run your Yoga business at the same time?
    My advice for what it's worth is stick to what you know are good at Yoga and hire experts to do the rest for you...
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  • Profile picture of the author Vid Yo
    Dani C,

    First of all...WELCOME!

    I think you have a really good start. You already have some great suggestions from members here so the only thing I will add is to focus. Sometimes too much info is paralyzing.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    Udemy is worth checking out if you go the video route. There are many yogis offering video courses there ... Some free and some paid. Udemy offers exposure and a more or less done-for-you selling platform.

    One of the bigger yoga sellers there offers one free course and several paid courses. You'll want to think about strategy as to whether you give away courses and/or charge.

    I agree with the YouTube suggestion for exposure. I'll add that once you have a great video with annotation link to your end-goal web page, that you can buy YouTube views from Google for fairly low cost for immediate exposure.

    Another good example of a successful yoga product is Shapeshifter yoga which sells online via Clickbank.

    That all said if you're goal is also to bring in more students to your local studio learn about local business marketing which is different than marketing to a global audience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dani C
      I want to thank you all again for such extraordinary advice and wisdom, and a special thank you to my new virtual friend in Hawaii.

      After absorbing all the responses I've received, my own humble plan in my original post now seems somewhat naive. I'm going to give things some thought before I act, but one thing is for certain: I will definitely be aiming to produce an online course. So much better than an ebook!!!

      Thank you all again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edward W Smith
    Have you considered getting on radio and TV plus print being interviewed about yoga and building in a plug for your business? Properly done, it can be huge. OK, thanks and good luck, Edward Smith.
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  • Profile picture of the author loveofasparrow
    I think you have a great plan put together and it is awesome that you have it all written down and can physically see your goals! We are very similar as I am a certified yoga instructor. I had created my blog and working on my tumblr now. I would like to get more following and start making the content of my blogs a little better. I also would like to write a book sooner than later. I am working on a Kickstarter Campaign so I can open a yoga studio in my town. I feel we could learn a lot from each other. I would love to visit your website when you get it up and going.
    Good Luck!
    Namaste


    Love of a sparrow
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