Gain Yoga Students by Building Your Credibility



build credibility

Becoming a yoga celebrity instructor isn’t necessary, but you need to build trust and credibility.

Build trust and credibility so that you communicate to your students and prospective students that you’re a qualified yoga instructor, and that you can be trusted to teach. Most people put a lot of stock in perceived credibility.

I say perceived because perception is often reality in the marketing world. You need to be qualified to teach, and have people believe you’re qualified to teach. The belief and perception is credibility.

Credibility isn’t actual ability. It’s the perception. You can do all what’s listed below and that won’t necessarily make you a good teacher. Keep that in mind. Always strive to be a good teacher and offer excellent client service when running a yoga studio.

The point of this building credibility post is not to explain how to actually be a great yoga teacher, but instead, how to get build credibility and trust to communicate that you are a great yoga teacher.  In marketing, perception is important.

Okay, so …

How can you develop yoga teacher credibility?

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to build credibility. You may even become a yoga celebrity instructor.  Consider the following:

Become a Yoga Alliance certified teacher

If you haven’t done so already, I strongly recommend getting certified and registered with Yoga Alliance. You first get certified with 200 hours and then ultimately 500 hours. Although there are no governmental regulations in place about teaching yoga, the Yoga Alliance teacher certification is probably the most recognized in North America, if not the world.

Write a book

If you get published with a publishing house, that’s wonderful. If not, consider self-publishing. You can sell or offer your book on your Web site and other Web sites. A good looking book, regardless who publishes it, is impressive and immediately makes builds your credibility. If you sell enough of these, you’ll enjoy the celebrity effect (popularity = qualified).
Create Yoga / Meditation DVDs

Just like writing a book, having DVDs for sale is a huge credibility builder, especially if they’re well done (which you definitely want to ensure). If you sell some DVDs, you enjoy the celebrity effect (popularity = qualified).

Create Videos for Web sites

Streaming videos for Web sites (yours or other subscription-based sites such as myyogaonline.com ) is growing in popularity. You definitely want to create video of yoga routines to post on Web sites. It’s a wonderful marketing tool as well as offers you the celebrity effect.

It’s expensive creating these videos. If you want to leverage your efforts, enter into a video sharing pool with non-competitor yoga studios (i.e. in other cities and towns). You provide your videos and they provide yours. Imagine if you swapped 4 of your videos with a pool of 10 other teachers/studios. You’ll have an immediate video library of 40 plus videos on your site for the price of creating 4 videos.

Write yoga and meditation articles for any publication

Display your knowledge with the written word. Write articles for print, electronic yoga magazines, informational Web sites like this one, e-newsletters, and any other place your written work can be displayed. Do it for free or for money. Think about all the e-zines and Web sites out there that need quality articles. Offer to swap articles with non-competitor yoga studios for each other’s e-zines. Subscribe to services such as submityourarticles.com to get your writing out there.

When you write articles for publishing on the internet, be sure it’s unique content and that you get an inbound link to your Web site in your published article (if it’s online).

Write guest blog posts

It’s tough writing a blog post every day or every week. Especially for yoga studio owners like you who are running a yoga studio. Leverage your efforts and your articles. Offer to write posts for non-competing yoga studio blogs. Or, write for any blog about yoga or meditation. There’s lots of them and they all would love to feature a well-written post from a yoga studio owner who is in the trenches.

Caution: don’t cut and paste some of your other articles/blog posts and post them online. Search engines don’t like identical text. You or the blog you offered your writing to will be punished by the search engines. Instead, unless you write original material, re-write existing material you have. The message can be the same, just change up the wording, sequence, headings, etc.

Interview on podcasts, TV, and radio

I bet you could easily find yoga podcasts out there. A podcast is a talk or interview or some form of audio uploaded to a site that visitors can listen to any time. Not only is this a great feature to include in your Web site, but it’s an opportunity for you to interview on other yoga / meditation podcasts. Just ask, I’m sure you’ll find podcast site owners who would be delighted to interview you or have you be a guest speaker.

Seek out interviews on local (or national TV if that opportunity arises) and radio. This is terrific exposure and it’s a way for you to spread the yoga and meditation message.

Gain teaching experience

Remember your core service: teaching yoga. Unless you don’t teach (i.e. you manage a studio), get as much teaching experience as you can, especially in your community where you want to open a studio. There’s lots of opportunities to teach – consider:

  • teach at another studio
  • cover for vacations for other teachers
  • recreation centers
  • fitness centers
  • schools
  • nursing homes
  • businesses
  • privately

offer to teach for free or reduced rates to get experience. Do what you can to refine your teaching ability.

Study with prominent and celebrity yoga instructors

Go on a retreat or a conference or a studio where prominent and celebrity yoga teachers teach. This way you can say you studied with so-and-so. The fact is there are yoga teacher celebrities out there. The next best thing to being a yoga celebrity (if you want that to build a thriving studio), is to say you studied with a prominent yoga celebrity. Yoga students read Yoga Journal and other publications. They know the big names. You want to say you studied with the big names. If that’s only a weekend workshop, then so be it. Sign up, attend, learn, and enjoy.

Speak, demonstrate, be faculty at retreats, conferences, seminars, and workshops

The more retreats, conferences, seminars, and workshops you lead or contribute to, the better your yoga teaching resume looks. Also, you’ll no doubt become a better teacher. Continuing education is important. If you lead educational events, you not only gain education yourself, but you build your credibility.

Be a yoga model for magazine shoots

Okay, not everyone will have a shot at this, and it’s not a real important part of building credibility. However, it’s hard not to be impressed if someone tells you they modeled yoga poses for Yoga Journal. That’s instant credibility. If someone can do poses good enough for Yoga Journal, certainly they know what they’re doing. If the opportunity to model yoga poses arrives, it won’t hurt your credibility to do it./p>

Treat injured persons in physiotherapy clinics

There’s something impressive about yoga teachers who are trusted by medical treatment providers to provide yoga rehabilitation classes. Someone who can heal with yoga sounds like someone who can teach a non-injured person. Therefore, if you get an opportunity to rehabilitate injured persons with yoga (as long as you believe and are qualified), then do it.

About the yoga celebrity effect

It’s a hugely effective marketing tool. Once you gain a decent amount of popularity as a result of publishing books, articles, and video, you’ll be in demand in your town and all over the world. It’s a sure-fire way to ensure your studio thrives (as long as you deliver a great yoga experience in your studio along with solid client service).

That said, don’t strive for becoming a celebrity yoga instructor.  If it happens, and you want it to happen, that’s great.  Celebrity can actually impede what it is you love about teaching yoga.  High profile may get in the way.

On the other hand, I suspect some people in the yoga community will find this post distasteful because it ties yoga with celebrity.  Arguably, yoga isn’t about celebrity.  I agree, at a personal level, yoga is not about celebrity and profile.  However, I’m of the view teaching yoga is a job and a business and so business principles apply.



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