10 Step Yoga Marketing Guide
The ability to attract new students is critical to your studio's success. You can have the best instructors in your city, but if you’re not properly marketing your studio, you won’t have students to teach. The following 10 strategies will guide you step-by-step in marketing your studio, growing your list of prospects and ultimately increasing your student base.
1. CREATE YOUR PERSONAS
Before you start any other marketing activities, you must know specific details about your target market. Have you developed personas for your studio? If not, establish a persona, or a written description of the ideal student(s) for your studio. A persona includes components like age, gender, location, income, interests, values and challenges. Personas should answer questions like:
How old is your ideal student?Is your ideal client a man or a woman, or both genders?Where do they work?What do they do for fun?What neighborhood do they live in?What are their goals for doing yoga?What could be preventing them from joining your studio?How much money are they willing to spend on yoga?
Start with your current students by asking them why they chose your studio. It's important to be as specific as possible when asking questions to develop your persona. You may hear responses such as cost or teachers but dive deeper to find the true driving factor.
Cost: why was this so important?Teaching quality: what exactly do they like about your teachers?Availability: why do the hours of operation work for them?Location: how far would they be willing to drive to get to your studio?Meets needs: what specific needs?
You will likely need multiple personas if you offer a wide range of programs. A studio that offers sculpt, beginners classes, hot yoga, yoga for athletes, power yoga and Hatha classes, for example, should develop several different personas to reach the prospective target students for each type of class. Don’t forget to give each of these personas a unique name (ex: Sculpt Samantha or Hot Yoga Holly).
Once these are created, you can tailor your marketing campaigns with unique messaging to reach each of your target students.
2. LAUNCH A WEBSITE
It’s common for new studios to forgo creating a website and simply use Facebook instead. This is a big mistake as your studio will have extremely limited visibility on Google, which is where most people go to find local businesses. Also, there's a good chance your competition has a website, as 64% of small and medium-sized business have a professional website.
There are plenty of options available to help you build a site on your own, but this can be a time-consuming process and might leave you with limited capabilities. Zen Planner makes it simple to get the website your studio needs with our Integrated Websites. These expertly-crafted websites are fully integrated with our studio management software, have strategically designed features focused on establishing your brand and will take your business even further.
There are basic webpages every yoga studio should have. These include:
Homepage: Have a general page that provides high-level information about your studio.Classes: Provide information about the different classes you offer. Schedule: Make sure your schedule is easily accessible for someone researching your studio online. Many studio management solutions provide the ability to easily embed your schedule on your website.Teachers: You have amazing teachers with different backgrounds, so make sure your website clearly shows them off.FAQ: Do you typically hear the same five questions from new students before they arrive at your studio? Make sure your answer these common questions on your website.Lead forms: Every page of your site should have a lead capture form, with a distinct call-to-action encouraging visitors to complete the form. We’ll provide more details on this in the next step.Contact Us: This page is extremely important. It should contain your phone number, contact form, physical address and Google Map plugin that will display where you studio is.
Once you’ve created these essential pages, you’ll need to optimize them so that your site will show up in Google searches. Check out our helpful SEO guide that explains what search engine optimization is and provides step-by-step tips on how you can easily optimize your own site.
3. CAPTURE LEADS
For your website to successfully drive prospective students to your studio, you need to make it easy to contact you. According to HubSpot, 65% of businesses say that generating leads is their top challenge. To simplify lead generation and make it as easy as possible for prospects to get in touch with you, you should embed forms on your website. You can start by simply having a Contact Us form on your Contact page. However, if you really want to drive new students to check out your studio, use the form to promote an offer. Offers such as:
Try a free class!Sign up for a free week!Schedule a free consultation!
can entice prospective students to fill out your form and visit your brick and mortar location. To ensure prospective students see this offer, make sure to add your form to every page of your website.
When creating forms, it’s important to think about the information you absolutely need from a prospective student. Having too many fields on your form can decrease the likelihood that someone will take the time to fill it out. Must-Have fields include:
Name (first and last)Phone numberEmail address
These pieces of information ensure that you have the necessary information to follow-up with your leads. Some Nice-to-Have fields include:
Years of experienceAgeMailing addressGoalsHow they found out about your studioWhat program/class they’re interested in
The exception to the shorter is better rule is if you have a very specific target audience. For example, if you are an elite studio that focuses on training experienced yogis, Years of experience might be a Must-Have field on your form to ensure you’re getting serious inquiries.
Finally, think about the button at the end of the form. Studies have shown that buttons with the word Submit tend to convert at a lower rate. Consider using action-oriented copy such as Reserve Your Spot, Book Now and Get Started.
4. UTILIZE MARKETING AUTOMATION
Automation is an optimal strategy to both maximize your time and market your studio effectively. Automations can be personalized based on the unique needs of your studio. Automation is a technology utilized by many studio management software providers that automates time-consuming manual tasks. The best part about automation is if you want to personally follow-up with these individuals by phone, you can create automated tasks to remind you to personally reach out to them in addition to automated email communication.
Items you can automate include:
Welcome communication with prospective students who filled out a form on your site.Follow-up email and phone communication with prospective students who visited your studio, but have yet to return for another class.Check-in email communication and alert to call current students who haven’t been to class for a specific period of time.Email communication and alert to call when a membership is about to expire, or if student’s payment didn’t go through.
Automation is win-win for studio owners. It's the solution you've been looking for if you want to strengthen your marketing strategy through nurturing and personalized communication while saving significant time doing so each month.
5. CLAIM AND UPDATE LOCAL LISTINGS
Did you know that four out of five consumers conduct local searches on search engines? Google reports that 50% of smartphone searchers visit a business within a day of their local search. With so many people turning to the internet to find local businesses nearby, solely having a presence with your website is not enough.
Local listings are increasingly taking up more space on search engine results pages (SERPs). If you do not have optimized local listings, your studio is missing out on valuable first-page real estate. As you’re starting to execute your local plan, be sure to focus on the following important (and free) sites:
Once you’ve claimed and/or created your listings on these sites, it’s time to add key attributes to ensure they are well-optimized and consistent. The following components are necessary for each listing:
Studio Name: Always use the actual name of your studio, and ensure it’s the same across all of your listings.Address: Only use a physical street address (not a PO Box) for your studio. If you have more than one location, create different, unique listings for each one.Phone Number: Your phone number is a crucial component of your listing, as 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call.Website: Local listings are a great way to get quality links to your website.Hours: Google will display your business hours in search results for your studio and on Google Map listings as well.Description: Keep your description short and sweet by staying between 250 and 500 characters.Logo: If you don’t add your logo, the main image that will show up with your Google Business listing is a map of your location.
Once you’ve added these essential components to your listings, consider spicing them up by adding photos and videos, and encourage your students to leave reviews for your studio.
6. IMPLEMENT SOCIAL MEDIA
A vast majority of consumers turn social media to research products and services before visiting a local business. According to G/O Digital📷, 62% of respondents claimed that Facebook is the most useful social network for researching small businesses before making a purchase. Due to the tremendous popularity of Facebook, as well as the features it offers small businesses, we recommend you start your social strategy with Facebook.
There’s some basic information that every business page needs. This information is extremely important for prospects researching your studio.
Short Description: This 255-character limit section should tell the basics about your studio: the type of yoga classes you offer, neighborhood you’re located in and, if it fits, a promotion you’re offering (i.e.: Try your first week free!).Long Description: This is your opportunity to tell prospects how amazing your school is. Talk about your space, the programs you offer, your students, certifications your teachers have and anything else a prospect should know about you.Hours: Make sure you have an updated schedule for each day of the week.Email: Be sure to include an email address that prospects can reach you.Business Category: Underneath the name of your business, you’ll see the option to add a business category. Be sure to select Yoga.
Once you have established your Facebook page, start writing engaging posts and boasting them in order to get your studio’s name in front of prospective students in your area!
7. ESTABLISH A REFERRAL PROGRAM
Referral programs are a proven low-cost way to recruit valuable new students. Referrals tend to buy more in products and services and have a higher lifetime value. According to Referral Candy, referrals also tend to be happier, more loyal students because they’ve self-selected your services using reliable criteria-the recommendation of a friend.
Before you launch a program, ask yourself these three questions:
Do you want to reward just the student or the student and the person they’ve referred?What will you reward referrals with? Consider compelling offers such as gift cards, discounted classes, branded gear or a free week.How will you measure the success of your program? If you have studio management software, you can easily do this by creating a referral lead source.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to launch. This program will only be successful if people know about it. Consider getting the word out by:
Adding a note about the program in your monthly newsletter.Announcing the program on your Facebook page and website.Distributing business cards that your students can give to their friends, family or colleagues. (I love ABC Yoga. Join me for a free class with this card!)Have each of your teachers mention it at the beginning of class.When a current student refers a new member, make a big deal out of presenting the reward to the person, ideally in front of a packed class. You could also thank the person publicly and welcome the new student in a Facebook post.
Another way to get referrals is through Sweat Angels. Every time a student checks into your school on Facebook, your studio will make a donation to the featured charity of the month. This is a perfect incentive to get students excited about checking in. Since each student has an average 100 friends on Facebook, just 10 students checking in a day will expose your studio to 1,000 potential new students.
8. START A BLOG
Although blogging might sound overwhelming, it’s not. You are an expert in yoga, you’re a professional at training students and you have a great deal of industry knowledge you can share. Consider writing blogs on the following topics:
Training and success tipsHappenings at your studio (events, workshops, teacher trainings, etc.)Student spotlights and success storiesStaff introductionsHistory and insights into yogaCurrent promotions
Blogging is beneficial for both your website and social media accounts. A frequently updated blog provides your site with fresh content, which Google loves. Blogs also serve as great content to share on your social media pages.
When you post a new blog, make sure to:
Link to other pages on your website (this is great for SEO, but limit the number of links to two or three per post).Add social sharing buttons to your posts to help your content get discovered.Include an inquiry form on every post to convert prospective students.
9. HOST IN-STUDIO EVENTS
Workshops are an excellent way to grow your students’ passion for yoga, as well as their knowledge in the practice. Workshops will also help you differentiate your studio from others in your area, build a stronger community and bring in additional revenue. Having passionate, well-educated students will create a more loyal, dedicated member base.
When first selecting a topic, avoid hosting a workshop that’s similar to your reoccurring classes. If there’s a different style of class you’ve considered adding to your schedule, testing it as a workshop is a great way to gauge interest among your student base. Other great ideas for initial workshops include:
Detailed focus on various posesFun classes such as acroyoga, partner yoga or mommy and me yogaOverview of essential oils, crystals or beneficial herbsSurvey your teachers to discover their passions and interests that could serve as potential workshops
Once you've selected a topic, you’ll want to determine your pricing structure. Will there be separate pricing for members and non-members? Separate pricing for excellent, frequent workshops can make a monthly membership more enticing to those students who may typically favor drop-ins. When determining what you'll charge attendees, be sure to take into consideration your instructor, supplies and any other necessary costs to ensure you'll make money on the event.
Since the focus of hosting a workshop is to help better market your studio, you’ll need to ensure you’re getting the word out for each workshop. Blog about your upcoming workshop, typically a month in advance. Share your blog post on your social media accounts and in emails targeted to your student base, as well as your prospective students. Create an event on Facebook and share weekly posts promoting it, and consider boosting the posts to help get message in front of non-members. Make sure that your teachers promote the workshops before or after each class. Workshops are only successful when people (both members and non-members) actually know about them.
10. ATTEND LOCAL EVENTS
An excellent way to get new students to check out your studio is by having a presence at events within your community. Attending an event takes a great amount of planning, so make sure you know about events happening in your community far ahead of time.
Festivals, street fairs, school carnivals, community health fairs and farmers' markets are all great events to attend and promote your studio at. To discover these events, frequently check your local parks and recreation website, community blogs, Nextdoor and the Events section on Facebook. Once you’ve selected an event to attend, make sure to take the following items into consideration:
Plan your presence: Will you have a booth, tent or table? How many staff members and students will you need? What will your team be doing at the event? Will you host a small contest to help increase foot traffic to your location?Make a great first impression: A warm welcome at the event is a great indication of how prospective students may feel like they would be welcomed at your brick and mortar location.Offer an incentive: It’s great to have an offer to give to anyone walking by, but you also need to prompt action on the spot. If your offer is for two weeks of yoga with the purchase of a mat, you could offer the mat for free to anyone who books their first class at the event. Simplify lead collection: Student recruitment is the reason you're attending an event, so having a reliable way to collect leads on the spot is a must. Consider bringing a tablet so prospects can signup through a simple form. Using an app to collect leads will enable you to create a free class or program and have prospects sign up for it on the spot. Purchasing an inexpensive mi-fi, or activating the personal hot spot on your smartphone will provide reliable wi-fi access.Promote your presence: An event will only be successful if people know you’re going to be there. Consider running Facebook ads targeted to individuals living in your community to let them know you’ll be at an upcoming event. Don’t forget to mention why they should stop by your booth (promote your incentive!) and where you’ll be located. When you’re at the event, consider recruiting your current students to hand out flyers around the event encouraging visitors to stop by your booth.
With proper planning and a strong presence, local events can be a great way to recruit new students in your community.