“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandh
Earning a yoga certification is a challenging journey; hours are spent learning poses and alignment, and working on proper transitions and class sequences. When learning to teach kids, there are many additional elements that come into play, such as classroom management, teaching to kids of different ages, communicating with parents and teachers, and keeping children engaged.
When I graduated from the YogaKids program I felt extremely qualified to teach yoga to children, and already had a few well-established classes before I even graduated. When I wanted to expand my teaching schedule and make teaching yoga to children more of a career, one that would allow me to help support my family, I had to learn a whole new skill set: how to run a business.
Below are my top 10 tips for growing your business…
1. Be Authentic
In The Yoga Sutras, Patanjali shares with us a guide for living; he leads us on a path to compassion, truth, generosity, and moderation. To authentically teach yoga, you need to actually practice yoga yourself both on and off the mat. You also need to love what you do which will translate into great classes. Kids can read energy. If you enjoy being there, love teaching, they will pick up on that and want to come back.
2. Create a Website
A web site is essential for marketing yourself, your classes, and any other related services you are providing. A web site will help you establish yourself in the marketplace, educate, and connect to your
3. Create Your Brand
You are unique, your services are unique. As Dr. Seuss said, “There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Convey your unique services in all of your marketing materials. Create a business name, logo and promotional materials that represent you well.
4. Email Marketing
Each time a student attends one of your classes, capture an email address for that child. Compile a list of students, and potential students and use this list to regularly connect with parents and kids. Sending a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email will help you stay connected with parents and students, communicate, and educate. Share what you are doing in your classes, successes and schedule changes. Include photos… You might ask parents to work on some techniques at home to reinforce what you are doing in class — possibly a bedtime relaxation exercise or a morning energizing pose sequence.
5. Establish Yourself in Your Community
Make sure everyone you meet knows that you teach yoga to kids. Invite them to invite the children in their lives to attend your classes. Print business cards and brochures, and put them in businesses that your target audience frequents such as children’s clothing shops, libraries, toy stores and recreation centers. Establish local partnerships with these businesses and cross-promote.
6. Communicate Value
Use research studies to help sell your program. On the YogaKids website (www.yogakids.com), under the Tools for Schools tab, we have a research section:https://yogakids.com/toolsforschools/research. Use this resource to access many studies on the benefits of yoga for children, and share these studies with parents of your students or potential students. The research speaks for itself: yoga has many
7. Build Relationships
Yoga is about connection. Building relationships with your students and their parents is vital to your success. Be approachable, kind, and communicate well. Remember your students’ birthdays or the families’ important life events. Share childrens’ success stories or progress with parents. “Jordan stayed on her mat today” or “Lucas mastered a new pose today”. This will solidify in the parents’ minds the value of your services and they will be more likely to continue and refer your class.
8. Referral Programs
Make sure every parent of every child in your classes knows that you depend on referrals to survive. A simple statement of “I appreciate your referrals! Does Jake have any friends who you think might enjoy yoga as much as Jake does?” I taught a class that was literally transformed by one family. One student’s mom referred either directly or indirectly 12 other students. If you aren’t getting referrals, then offer incentives. Offer one free class for each referral, or what ever works for your budget and time schedule.
9. Think Outside the Box
Birthday parties are a real parent and child favorite, and will bring several new children to your studio. Make sure that party guests join your email list, leave with a class schedule, and are offered a free or discounted class to come back.
Girl/Boy Scout Troops are another avenue to reach a large group of kids. Contact your state’s main office and provide your business information. Once you teach a troop, set a schedule for additional classes and ask if the troop’s mothers/fathers can refer you to other troops in the community.
Summer camps are a great way to get exposure and grow your marketing list. Many camps are looking for special themes, or additional before/after camp options for families. This is a great way to get in front of a large numbers of kids
Sports teams are looking for ways to improve performance, and enhance their team’s abilities. Yoga fits perfectly into any sport program. Approach team sports in your area from soccer to football to swimming. Offer your services for a quick after-practice cool down, a full session, or a once-a-week addition to what they are already doing. Most parents are willing and able to invest in any activity that will enhance their child’s performance.
PTA/PTO: Many local area school parent-teacher groups are looking for before/after school programs that will benefit their kids. Parent groups might decide to draw an income from your classes, or supplement your classes as a benefit to their families.
9. Take time to breathe.
Sit quietly in nature and visualize the career you want. See yourself positively impacting the lives of the children and families in your community.