So, now that you have a clearer picture of Why you are offering yoga teacher training, the variety in Who your trainees will be, What yoga teacher training offers trainees, Where you’ll market the training and When (whew!); we’ll move on to HOW you’ll get your marketing done!
If you are anything like me, the first time I considered how I’d market my training, I was overwhelmed. And truly, I wondered if I’d even be able to make it fly.
In the ‘Where‘ post, I mentioned lots of places you can start spreading the word and I definitely recommend starting in-house. Start with your own student base. Start with announcements internally through your newsletter, through your social media pages and through in-studio signage.
Social Media Channels
Posts and announcements through any channels should be both educational and informative. Providing valuable content in your channels is key to attracting attention. As with any social media posts, for sure, you’ll get more attention if the information isn’t ‘sales-y’, but something that gives the reader some value, something to learn. For instance, as you describe training, talking about other benefits of teaching (developing leadership and public speaking skills, all the variety of yoga classes out there today) will peak more interest than just adding exclamation points to everything in the post.
In posts, use quotes from some of your teacher training material sources and teachers to draw interest. For instance, in my training, one of my references is The Heart of Yoga book by TKV Desikachar, so I’ll pull different quotes from that book to post on Facebook and add a few comments about how the quote applies to training and teaching yoga. Even a resource you don’t use in class, but one that rings true to you, is a wonderful way to let students get to know you and your training.
Video is getting everyone’s attention, so find ways to use that medium in your posts. Word to the wise: keep it short. People tend to have short bits of time in which to check social media outlets and a 60 second video is just about right. To me, creating a short video is much less overwhelming than trying to consider 20 minutes of content all at once! If you’ve got 5 ideas, break them into 5 short videos instead of one long one. One tool I’ve found that (at this point) is working well for me is Adobe’s Spark. It’s a free tool and you can upload still pictures and logos, use their icons, music and background layouts and create a short little ditty in less than an hour.
If you send out regular e-newsletters to your students, all the content you have posted in social media can be repeated in your newsletter. And vice versa. If you’ve done a blog post or short video about teacher training, re-communicate it in your newsletter. Very few students and followers will see the content in both places and it really is okay if they do. (Remember that ‘must see 5x’ saying?) If you start to pay attention to the content you see in the newsletters you receive and match that up to social channels, you’ll notice that this is a common practice. Re-use that content! You’ve worked hard to create it, get as many miles out of it as you can.
Monthly newsletters can be tough to pull-off, but re-using your content will make it easier. Besides, you’ll want to create many opportunities to announce your upcoming training.
All of your social media channels will offer you the chance to advertise. And while it certainly is beneficial and will increase your traffic – and interested trainees – you’ve got to know what you are doing in order to spend wisely. I no longer spend any money in print advertising outside of posting a few flyers. I have not found the audiences of the magazines, for instance, specific enough to draw any interest in teacher training. Different print magazines or newspapers in your area may draw general yoga students, but in my experience, it’s not been an effective channel for advertising teacher training.
Google AdWords: As I’ve mentioned, I no longer own a studio myself and I offer trainings at a local studio near me. When I started, none of the students knew me at the studio because I hadn’t taught any classes there. I was new to the area in general and didn’t have many connections, yoga or otherwise! So, I had to learn quickly! And, honestly, I’m still learning! Google AdWords, though, has been a big help for me to spread the word about training for all these reasons above and because mine is not the only training in town. Not even close! There are at least 3 other, more established teacher trainings within 15 minutes of me. However, by creating a good Google AdWords campaign with solid keywords, I’ve been able to get traction with awareness and have found that the efforts draw in students from a broader geographical area than I could have done using only social media posting and newsletters.
Facebook Ads: Love it or hate it, Facebook is the best social channel for reaching your yoga teacher training audience. The main ads I run are “Boosts” of my events. On my FB page, I create events for my Information Sessions (more on those in a minute) and any classes or workshops I’m teaching. Then, generally at least 2 weeks out, I’ll run a Boost on that event. The event becomes the ad. In the event, you can add links for payments, locations and downloads. In the ad, you can choose audiences based on interests, location and other demographics. You can even target audiences that like other FB pages that are similar to yours. These boosts not only spread the word about your event, they can increase Likes on your page and over time, that will decrease the amount you need to spend on FB ads.
As part of my teacher training, I host Information Sessions. These are 1-hour events that I hold for anyone who is interested in yoga teacher training and who would like to ask questions of me in-person. The Sessions are a combination of 30 minutes of yoga practice and 30 minutes of Question/Answer including a handout describing what’s covered in training and the training schedule. These Info Sessions allow people to meet me before training starts and because I post these Events in Facebook, I can Boost them and build awareness, too. Many times, people are unable to attend an in-person Info Session, but contact me based on seeing the Event post. The Sessions give you another way to provide valuable content to your potential students.
Of course, as you teach your regular classes, you’ll want to announce your teacher training, too. It’s exciting to share the adventure with your students and many will be interested!
Marketing is no an overnight event that creates instant success. For everyone, there is trial and error in the mix and the message and it’s true for companies large and small. Your marketing mix will depend on what you’ve learned from marketing your studio and classes, your geographic location and the demographics of your student base and area.
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