Being a yoga instructor and retreat leader isn’t just about teaching great yoga, it’s also about running a business.
While you might be passionate about your job, it is still a job and like any other, you need to treat it as such to be as successful as you can be. Running a yoga business is just like managing any other business, with all the same sort of needs that other businesses have like marketing, sales, and production.
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1. Adopt a business mindset from the beginning
To become as successful as you can be, you need to transform from hobbyist to business owner. Yoga teachers are really entrepreneurs, and the most successful ones know they need to treat instructing and retreat leading like a business. Adopt the right mindset from the beginning, and combine it with your passion for really making a difference.
As your own boss, you’ll need to know how to do many things and figure many of them out on your own. You’re in charge of marketing, accounting, sales, and many other aspects of a business while doing what you actually want to, which is teaching yoga!
2. Build your brand
To run a successful yoga business you need to build your brand. What makes you stand out from the crowd? Think about your brand values and your brand voice. You’re not going to be able to be everything to everyone, so it’s important to think about who your customers will be. Figure out who it is that you’re doing this for, and build your brand around that.
You can be professional about your business while still sticking to your principles. Get business cards and a website, even if it’s simple, and have a work email address. Create policies for yourself and your business, and stick to them.
3. Create a customer network
When you know who you want to serve, then it’s important to foster a community around your business. Your community are who you will turn to when you start organizing retreats, and who will likely be your first retreat attendees.
Think about creating a mailing list that will become useful when you want to make announcements about retreats or classes you have coming up.
Get on social media because it’s one of the best ways to find new students and to have your community get to know you better.
4. Learn to market your retreat right
Marketing yourself through social media and your community is the first step, but you also need to learn how to market your retreat right. You may be offering the most amazing yoga experience for students but if no one knows about it, then you’re unlikely to lead a successful retreat.
One of the most important aspects of marketing is to know who you’re marketing to, which is why deciding on and finding your customer base is so important. Read more about how to market your retreat successfully!
5. Get help with tedious retreat details
If you thought you could escape tedious administration work by becoming a yoga teacher, then think again! You need to be on top of the administration involved in retreat planning, although that doesn’t mean you need to do it all yourself.
6. Don’t be afraid to make money
For some reason, yoga instructors often feel guilty about the need to make money. But you’re providing a valuable service and you shouldn’t feel guilty about accepting payment for that. By treating it like a business from the beginning, you’ll actually be able to enjoy teaching yoga more and make the most of opportunities, instead of being caught up in how you’re going to afford next months rent and bills.
7. Diversify your income
There are many ways to make money as a yoga teacher, so there’s no need to put all your eggs in one basket. Yoga retreats are a great way to increase your revenue, but you may not be able to rely on them alone. Run regular yoga classes to keep your foot in your yoga community, try more local one day retreats or teaching at events. If you have another skill like photography or web skills, think about offering your services to other yoga instructors too.
8. Engage in proper business practices
Just like you need to present yourself as a professional in the yoga industry, you also need to follow through and engage in proper business practices. Have contracts and written agreements for services that you’re using or offering.
9. Continue to learn
Yoga may be an ancient practice, but the world of yoga today is always changing. Always be on the lookout for different and new opportunities, and continue to learn your craft. In addition, keep an eye out for new things that could help you to improve your yoga business and make it as successful as it can be.
Planning on leading a retreat soon? Check out our Retreat Leader Resources to help you with everything from choosing a location to pricing and marketing!