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When I work with my yoga business coaching clients, one of the top questions I get is "how can I get more private clients?"
It's a good question because working 1-2-1 is the surest way to get more income, fast. And yet, it's a long game. The private practice I have now took 8 years to build!
Finding the right people is a mysterious process. Where do they come from?
Sometimes it's enough to announce in classes that you have openings for private clients. But I find that rarely successful. Unless a student has some kind of special requirements, it's unlikely that they will swap out the relatively inexpensive class for an exponentially more expensive private.
Sometimes you will receive a recommendation or referral from someone who already knows your work. I find these rarely to be "sticky." Individuals who have done their own research on what they want are more likely to convert into good clients.
Sometimes a friend will "gift" a session with you to another person. I've found that these are also only rarely "sticky" introductions. The recipient of your services didn't ask for them, or pay for them, so it is unlikely that they will either schedule the gift sessions with you, or enroll with you further upon completion of the gift sessions.
In my experience, clients usually seek out private instruction for two top reasons, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
2. Special requirements
Convenience means "I don't have time and/or don't want to go to the studio so I'll hire you to come to me."
Personally, this isn't a good fit for me. If a client hires out of convenience, it's rare that they're hiring you for YOU. Therefore, their loyalty will be shallow. At any moment, you could be replaced with some other instructor who's more convenient/agreeable/less expensive.
Ok, so if convenience isn't the best reason to create lasting private client relationships, then what sort of special requirements might a person have?
Physical limitations that have special requirements are the most obvious. But, the "special requirement" could be anything really. That said, there's any number of reasons a person may seek out a yoga instructor. In general the biggest categories are:
- I'm a beginner.
- I have a limiting health condition.
- I would like to "uplevel" my practice.
- I'm pregnant and I need to learn correct modifications.
These are still pretty broad. While you could easily make these your "areas of expertise," it might not enthuse you. Instead, you could drill down further on what it is that excites you to teach.
So... what are you excited about teaching? Can you frame those things for your prospective client in the form of benefits or outcomes?
These questions seem simple, but I find when I work with my coaching clients on them, answers take more time and thought to figure out that you might think. Heck, I'm redefining the answers every day!!! If you are an evolving, breathing yoga teacher, you will change.
But, it's important to discover what motivates you every day, no matter what.
What follows are 5 steps to reverse engineer finding the kind of client you really want, and who really wants to work with you.
1. Define clearly what are the benefits of working with you. What are you rrrreally good at helping people out with? What outcomes can a person expect from working with you?
2. Determine where the people who need your outcomes tend to congregate. Online AND in real life. (hint! They are usually not in a yoga studio!!)
3. Articulate HOW you might let those people know about your services. What will it take for them to know about you?
4. Have an offer: how long will you work together? How much will it cost? What is the promise and the program?
5. Have a call to action. How can people get in touch with you? When will the offer expire?
This is the basic outline for any kind of initiative to make a connection between a person who has something to offer and a person who is looking for the goods you got.
Growing a yoga business that can provide you the kind of life and lifestyle you want is a delicate affair, and can take a lot of trial and error. The best way I know to get where you're going FAST is to have the help of someone who has done it before, or at the very least knows your market well.
If you're ready to get some help growing your businesses, keep your eyes peeled and be sure to check your email tomorrow for an email outlining the broad brushstrokes for the 5 Pillars 90 Day Accountability Hoop.
Here's what some graduates are saying about the program.
“I gained clarity on what I have to offer and can teach authentically as a yoga teacher. This, in turn, is informing how I am fine tuning how I brand/market myself. It has been very helpful to have this group and regular meetings and touch points to help me stay the course and not (completely) procrastinate on making the changes I want to make. This course/forum has been an excellent complement to the other developmental programs I've been doing (Forrest yoga mentorship, Yoga Clinic teacher training, Forrest yoga homework, etc.) because it allowed me to connect the dots in my takeaways from each and weave them together to use in my teaching and business moving forward.
Thank you to the entire group for holding space for this amazing work.”
“Community has been my biggest take away. This forum has served as a place to get B.I.G (Be In Grace) out from my head to others. It has been rewarding having a group to share trials, errors and wins in where to teach,how to teach and what to teach, when. It's refreshing to work with you again Erica, my mentor since you knew me BC (before cancer) and your guidance to shifting my teaching from numerous classes a week/full time to programming, creating a safe space to listen and accept themselves is something I wish to teach and also something I must continue to cultivate and value as well as I continue my own healing.
Thank you, Aho”
“I became clear on the type of yoga I wanted to teach and why I wanted to teach yoga in the first place. Since then I have attracted more opportunities and become more discerning in what types of teaching jobs I will take on (and give up) based on whether it aligns with my message and if it financially/emotionally benefits me. Thanks to your direction Erica, I'm finding "out of the box" ways to teach yoga & earn an income.
Thank you Erica - the Five Pillars was extremely helpful!”
“My one takeaway from this group was this….
I need to be supported on this journey in business. My therapist is not my business coach! Having a support group and being able to brainstorm ideas, problems, scenarios, concerns etc is very valuable. Listening to others in the group allows me to hear their highs and lows, ideas and solutions etc… I really value what a business support group and having a business coach can do for me.
and…..there are just so many ways to go about running business’s. It’s nice to see all the different ways to go about it!”
Feeling inspired? I hope so!
So, I have a bonus for you. 🙂
Watch your email for The #1 Thing You Need to Know to Find YOUR Students.
If you haven't seen this by end of day tomorrow, check your "spam" or "junk" box. It may have landed there! When you see it, "white list" the email address. I want you to get ALL the goodies!