You may have put your heart and soul into planning a dream yoga retreat, thinking carefully about every aspect of how the retreat experience will go and working to make it the most successful it could possibly be. But if not enough people know about it and you don’t attract the right numbers then it can be both heartbreaking and financially damaging.
Planning a successful retreat is a lot of hard work, especially for new retreat leaders. Even once you manage to plan most of it, the marketing aspect of retreat organization can be overwhelming. But you need to think of yourself as running a business! Here are our top tips for marketing your retreat.
Put time into your descriptions
Your yoga retreat may be the best experience ever, but you need to make sure you convey that with your description. You’re selling your retreat through words, what will convince people it’s worth it?
For example, 3 days accommodation versus 3 days stay at the luxurious beachfront resort. Which sounds more enticing? It can seem a little strange to be padding your description out with descriptive words (and try not to go TOO overboard) but it really does help! Visualize the retreat and describe how people will feel as well as what they should expect.
It’s also important to understand an element of SEO, or search engine optimization, in your retreat marketing. Make sure you optimize your website to be found by Google when people search for yoga retreats.
Get on Social Media
The necessary beast that is social media! Marketing your retreat on social media can lead to great results if you do it right. The thing is, it’s called “social” media for a reason. If you just push sales with every post you probably won’t have much success. Instead, engage with your followers and for every push of your retreat you do, post 3 or 4 things that are useful to them. It’s all about the give and take!
Don’t forget to respond when people ask questions and get even more involved in communities online. It’s free to join yoga groups on Facebook, you just need to invest your time. Ask questions about what people are looking for in a retreat, respond with helpful suggestions when other people want to know something and be active in different groups. Then when it’s relevant, you can bring up your retreat!
Build an email list
Emails put you directly in front of your customers in a way that social media won’t, because of the way the algorithms work in only showing some of your content. Having an email list is a crucial element of your yoga business so start one as soon as possible.
Have a signup sheet in your regular classes, offer a free downloadable ebook, or some kind of checklist on your website in exchange for emails. Create a blog and get subscribers, or work on guest posting on other sites about your organization, to drive more traffic to your own site.
Find the right audience
You should keep a target audience in mind when you’re planning your retreat, and when it comes to marketing that’s no different. Think about where your target audience would be and this will help you to decide how to market your retreat. If they’re mostly on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter then that’s where you need to be too!
Don’t underestimate your regular students, and be sure to inform them of the retreat planning from the get-go so they can get excited about it too, and have time to consider coming along. Run a class at a different location from where you normally do and mention your retreat to the students.
Network, network, network
You need to get with the “in” crowd when it comes to the travel and leisure industry. This could mean attending travel shows or engaging with travel communities in your area, or the area where you’re holding your retreat. Check out websites that cater to tourists in the location of your retreat and investigate whether you can advertise through them, either on their social media or the website itself. Include them in press releases about your retreat.
Network with other retreat leaders too, so that if they know people interested in a retreat where you’re going next they can refer them to you or vice versa. Being an entrepreneur can be scary, and having other people who understand your position to support you and bounce ideas off can be invaluable. (WeTravel has a Facebook group! If you’re a retreat leader then why not request to join?)
Use online platforms
When you’ve exhausted your email list and your regular students, you need to find a way to showcase your retreat to potential customers that you don’t know. It’s important to consider both a platform where you can market your retreat, as well as a place to funnel interest and payments to. WeTravel have both a marketplace and a payment system that can help promote your retreat and make the administration process run more smoothly and efficiently. Check out how it works!
Promoting your retreat doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’ve planned a great retreat then you should be excited about getting the experience out there and encouraging people to sign up. It just takes a little planning to market your retreat successfully too!