Michelle's top 3 tips to help you get started as a yoga teacher
Getting ready to leap into the world of yoga teaching when you first qualify is pretty daunting. The chances are you will feel really excited about gaining your qualification and the doors it can open. You can work anywhere in the world and be your own boss. But, where to start? After all, the reason why most of us seek out yoga teacher training is because we want to deepen our knowledge of this ancient practice or we are compassionate individuals who love helping and working with people.
It might feel pretty uncomfortable putting yourself out there and the mere thought of it may have you running for the hills! Most of us are not experts in marketing, IT or building websites, nor do we need to be. It might be worth considering who has the skills to help in areas that are beyond your expertise and how to seek them out. There are a lot of things to consider when starting out but here are my top three tips to help you on your way.
Location, Location, Location
Coming across a suitable venue can be challenging, especially as yoga teaching is a growing vocation. More and more community halls are filling up with yoga classes! Be prepared to think outside of the box when it comes to finding a venue. Cafes, bowling clubs and function suites may also work well. The main thing is that the room is warm, clean and free from distraction. It may be helpful to access a big enough space to get return on the cash you spend on rent so that you can live off your earnings.
Is your prospective venue central and near transport links? Is there parking available? Is it inviting when you enter? What’s going on in the local area? Are there other small businesses that you can network with?
Is the property accessible? For example, if your niche is offering therapeutic yoga, is your venue accessible for somebody who may show up with a mobility issue?
Choose your yoga home wisely especially if you are planning to nest there for a while.
Value Your Worth
All too often I see highly skilled teachers under pricing classes or have a relaxed approach with students who have purchased blocks or passes. This may lead to you running at a loss which isn’t sustainable for your business, nor does it help when you are trying to pay bills and keep a roof over your head.
It may be helpful to think about boundaries with your students in relation to the expiry of blocks or the cancellation of classes. Once you are clear, take some time to set terms and conditions and let your students know about these. This way, it saves any embarrassing miscommunications if situations arise. It may also be useful to have your T&C’s displayed on your website.
My last wee nugget of advice is never work for free! Your time is valuable and you have some serious skills to offer. Think about your pricing wisely and take time, preparation and travel into consideration if you are doing private or corporate work.
Blow Your Own Trumpet
This is not something we are very good at in the West Coast of Scotland, but, if you want to fill your classes up and make it in an increasingly competitive industry then you need to do just that. The main thing is that you are authentic when you do this. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
If you have a niche, then use that so that you can stand out from the crowd. This might be that you have a background in complementary therapies or a certain sport. Can you specialise in anything? Can you offer something that nobody else is offering?
Building a decent website, finding a photographer to take some nice photos of you, working on a marketing strategy and having a presence on social media lets people know you are out there. It will also help to attract the people who you are the right teacher for.
Last but not least find your purpose and mission. Be clear on what it is that you are setting out to do as this will help you form your brand and give the right message to prospective customers.
If you are a newly qualified teacher and would like to find out more, our new mentorship programme is launching in September 2019 We will be offering in depth training and support on a range of areas, including the above, to help you feel confident, skilled and equipped to launch yourself as a successful yoga teacher.