Planning a group trip or retreat can be a long process, and if you wait until you’ve dotted every “i” and crossed every “t” you might leave yourself with little time for marketing it. So why not start marketing your trip before you’ve even planned it?
It might sound backwards, but it’s simpler than you think! Grab the attention of potential attendees early, so they have time to plan themselves and think about attending. You never know at what point they’ll choose to book a retreat. You can start with marketing what you do know, and as you plan more of your trip, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks and provide more detail.
Working out your target audience is one of the first things to do when you’re planning a retreat. A successful retreat will have an idea of the attendee in mind, and build the retreat around it. Are you looking for the budget backpacker, the luxury traveller, the escapee from the 9-5 life, women, couples, or anything else you can think of?
One of our biggest tips for marketing your retreat is to center your plans around this target market, as they’ll influence your choice of everything from location to optional activities and any special workshops or ideas you might have. You can even spell out who should attend your retreat by outlining exactly who it’s for in your description, similar to how workshops or trade events do.
Use your words
You can convey what the retreat will be about through words and pictures, without having to be too specific. If you say the retreat is for “adventurous travellers” or that it’s “luxury”, or “rustic” then potential attendees will have a fairly good idea of what style your retreat is and if it suits them. Keep it as broad as you need to until you can narrow down some more details throughout the planning process. If someone is looking to book a luxury retreat then it’s better to have your retreat out there than not, even if all you know is that it will be luxurious!
Choosing a location for your retreat is usually one of your first tasks, and will help to shape the rest of your retreat. Almost as soon as you have your location you should be marketing your retreat because it’s such an integral part of the entire experience. Potential attendees will be able to tell a lot about the how the retreat will pan out based on the location of the retreat center, whether it’s next to the beach or up in the mountains.
You can also use information about the retreat center itself to help sell your retreat before you’ve finished planning it. Advertise the accommodation options, the facilities and the activities available within the retreat centre itself. For photography and images, you can ask the retreat centre to provide you with some to use in you marketing your retreat or go armed with your own camera if you visit the center in person.
Only claim the truth
When you’re marketing your retreat before you’ve finished planning it you need to be careful to only market what you actually know. Don’t make any claims that you won’t be able to fulfil or you’re not sure about! Many retreats follow a similar formula of two yoga classes per day, optional activities, and time set aside for relaxing. You can talk about all of this without going into details that you’re not sure of yet. You can spend time crafting your retreat program as the trip gets closer, but getting the retreat out to be seen as early as possible is key.
Utilize social media
Social media should be a key element of marketing your yoga business, and it can be a game changer in marketing your retreat. Use the power of social media to spread the word about your upcoming retreat and create a buzz. Spread the word amongst the people the know you and potentially come to your classes already first, as they are likely to be your first port of call for retreat attendees.
When you make new plans for the retreat, nail down another optional activity, or decide on a theme for yoga classes, you can let everyone know over social media. Encourage people interested in your retreats to follow you as well as those that book your retreats.
Marketing your retreat before you’ve planned it might seem backwards, but it works. Potential customers don’t need to know all the nitty gritty details before they book. If they know the location and can get a feel for the style of the retreat then you can start making sales.
Whether you’re planning a yoga retreat or a group trip, you can start with what you do know, and build in the detail as it comes. The important thing is to get the word about your trip out there early, to market it to its full potential!