If you feel like you’re doing everything that you’re ‘supposed’ to do, like creating amazing free yoga videos, posting captivating captions on Instagram, creating smart workshops and other offers, and you are still not getting the traction you’d like to see, what you may be missing is brand personality.
People want to buy from people they like. Someone whom they feel is real, someone they can connect with, and trust. And in a marketplace that’s bursting with hard-working, hustling yoga teachers, people are more likely to follow their hearts than anything else. What you want is for their heart to lead them to you.
I want to talk about building that authentic connection with your audience by building your brand as a yoga teacher. If you’ve been wondering how to uplevel your brand and really make yourself stand out from the sea of yoga teachers, then this is for you.
Why Do You Need A Brand As A Yoga Teacher?
When it comes to building a brand, a lot of people are reluctant. You might think that this is just for big business, and way too commercial and ‘businessy’. Or that you don’t need a brand, you just want to teach yoga and help people after all.
I hear you, I really do. The thing is, each piece of content you put out there, each word you utter online, each social media post, comment in a Facebook group, and copy in an Instagram ad, intentionally and unintentionally tells your community who you are and what you’re all about. You’re a brand, whether you want it or not.
If you’re not intentional about what you’re sharing, your audience will be confused, uninterested, and unsure how to even engage with you. On the other hand, if you know how you add value and who you help, it will allow you to make informed decisions in your business.
You’ll go from throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks, to getting heartfelt responses from people thanking you or, even better, wondering how the heck you just read their mind.
Where Do You Start To Build Your Brand?
If you want to get people interested in your offers, get them interested in YOU or the WHY behind what you’re selling first.
Far too often we think of branding as just the visual elements of a business – from a logo to the colors you use, but a brand means the true personality behind the business. It’s about your story and the feelings you convey.
Your value isn’t found in what you’re selling, it’s found in the fact that YOU are the one selling it. You’ve got to build YOU into your business. You want to infuse your personality, your voice, your heart, your quirks, your unique stories, and your values into your brand.
Remember, there’s only one of you on the planet and that’s all there’s ever going to be, so no one can ever, ever compete with something that’s a pure original. The stronger you show your PERSONALITY – your brand’s personality, (not only your individual personality) the easier it is for your people to recognize the ‘right fit’.
This can be challenging! Maybe you’ve felt that as a yoga teacher you need to present yourself and your business in a certain way. Or maybe you‘ve been in a situation where you had doubts about whether or not to communicate something you feel very strongly about. But you held back because you didn’t want to offend anyone.
You wouldn’t be the only one.
But, if everybody is doing the same old thing, presenting themselves in the same old way… how can customers know they’re choosing the right fit for them? You need to understand that you cannot be the right fit for everyone – you shouldn’t even want to. Trying to please everyone means you’re spreading it too thin.
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” – Dita von Teese
Don’t be afraid of people not connecting with you or not liking you – they are not your tribe. Not everybody is going to like you, and that’s a good thing. Trying to appeal to everyone is just a surefire way of blending into the woodwork and being for no one. Instead, imagine how cool it would be if you could work with customers you resonate with? Who get you, and you get them.
Don’t remain in the crowd. Step out, and be the leader your students deserve. It all starts with you, and your vision.
Now, maybe you’re a private person, and you don’t like to share private stuff. First of all, you don’t have to reveal everything in order to put yourself out there and be yourself. You do not have to expose everything – there is nothing wrong with maintaining some privacy!
You don’t have to share your real-time meltdowns. You don’t have to share a single picture of your kids or your partner if you don’t want to share those. You can keep that totally private and still be you. The only thing I would say is, a lot to be gained by talking about things that make you human, things that embarrass you, things that hold you back, things that you feel reluctant to share. You don’t have to share everything but I would say the more the better.
The 4-Step Blissful Branding Model
Why do you do what you do and what’s your vision for your business?
What services and products are you offering?
Who are your customers and how can you help them?
How do you present yourself visually?
1. Why Do You Do What You Do?
Defining your WHY helps you narrow down where to put your energy and go after it. The more you can crystalize your intention of what you want to create for yourself, the more you can manifest it. If you want to create any result in your business, or your life, you need to know two important things: exactly what you want and why you want it. Now, I know this may sound obvious, but so many people miss this and it makes everything way more difficult.
Being clear on what your mission is will give you the inspiration that guides how you think, how you act, and how you communicate. When you’re clear on that, and this inspires everything you do, you give people a reason to care. When you operate from this space it keeps your energy passionate and authentic – and that’s what we want.
When I started my business, I knew that I wanted to run an online business that would allow me to work from anywhere. I also knew that I didn’t want to focus on working with 1-on-1 clients because I can find this draining, and I also wanted to make a bigger impact, help more people, and earn more money, so instead, I decided to focus on selling online courses. And one of my big, first money milestones was having a hundred-thousand-dollar business.
Those were specific goals, the results that I wanted to create. By just knowing those few things, I was able to really focus my time and my energy to do only what I needed to do to create those results. Now, once you know what you want, you need to have a big enough ‘why’ or a really good reason for wanting it. Because if you don’t know why you’re doing something you’re going to get distracted and you’ll get off track.
I’m really, really loving what I do, but it’s also hard sometimes. Being an entrepreneur is hard. And that’s what you are, too – so you better embrace that! Having a strong vision, a strong ‘why’ will give you strength when things get tough and guide everything you do.
So this is step #1 to building your brand – defining your why. Getting clear on your vision.
When you first think about your why, you’re probably going to be a bit scattered and unclear. It’s a question we’re not so good at answering, as most of our lives are spent answering questions about what we’re doing, but very rarely do people ask us why.
It’s almost like there’s this big barrier that you have to break through. We’re so trained to think about the what, that we end up moving through life almost robotically. We get stuck in mundane routines and it’s not until we stop and think about why we’re actually doing what we’re doing that the wheels start to fall off.
2. What Services & Products Are You Offering?
If you have a business, you have products or offers you are selling.
Now, if you’ve been in business a while you know what you sell, so this one is a little bit of a no-brainer. But if you’re brand new to business, you’re probably still trying to figure out what you’re going to offer, which is fine. Just know that at some point you’ve got to be able to clearly describe it.
This is important because when you first meet people, or when it comes time to describe what you do on your website, it should be really simple and easy for people to understand you and your business and either become a customer or refer you to others.
3. Who Are Your Customers & How Can You Help Them?
The clearer you can get, the easier it is to tailor your message to your customer. And when you do that, you’ll find you actually end up attracting way more people, because your message is clear and direct and speaks straight to them.
You may be thinking, but I have a product that suits everyone – everybody needs yoga! This may be true… but just because it is suitable for everyone, doesn’t mean they’re all your ideal students. You want to be attracting people that you’re actually going to enjoy working with. Not everyone is our cup of tea and that’s totally fine. That’s the beauty of building your brand – you’ll attract your people just by being you.
So how do you find your ideal customer?
It’s not so much about creating your ideal customer avatar anymore, it’s about identifying what they have in common and what they are struggling with. Things like demographics – age, gender, relationship status, income, if they have children or hobbies, can play a role, but they don’t have to. Don’t overthink it, especially when you’re just starting out.
What you can do to help you with that is to survey your audience regularly. You can do this with Instagram polls or by sending them a questionnaire, or just reaching out and asking them. Over time you will develop a deeper understanding of your customers and who you enjoy working with most.
So, you know your ‘why’, you know what you want to offer and who you want to work with. This is the foundation, this is what you want to think about before you start working on your logo, choose your brand colors and do all the fun stuff.
4. How Do You Present Yourself Visually?
What I like to do as a first step to create a visual brand is to create a brand mood board. A mood board is a visual brainstorm of what you want your brand to look and feel like. It’s a collection of pictures, and this is just fun to do! This step will help you to understand what you’re attracted to, which in turn indicates what your ideal clients will be attracted to as well.
I like to start on Pinterest.
Go to Pinterest and create a secret board that you’ll use to save your images (you need to have an account and be logged in). Then start adding pins to that board! Any images that you feel attracted to. Pin images of photos, colors, quotes – any image that you want your brand to be like. Aim to get at least 20 images pinned to your secret board.
I’ve made this step so much easier for you! I created a board for you full of images that you can use to get started creating your own brand mood board!
Once you have a good selection of images, start editing them down to your favorites. Have a look at your images and see if a theme appears. Are there certain colors that you’re drawn to? Special elements or styles? Edit your board until you only have images that reflect you and your brand and that show what you want your audience to feel.
You can keep everything on Pinterest or you download or screenshot your favorite images and add them to a Google slide or create your own brand mood board in Canva and print it out.
This is such a fun process! Remember to have fun with this, and don’t overthink it. This shouldn’t take you more than a few hours, and it doesn’t have to be set in stone and forever. Your brand will always continue to evolve, just like you, so allow yourself some space to play around and have fun with it. Next, you would choose your brand colors, a name and create your logo.
I hope that you let your brand and personality shine in all that you do in your business. I’ll make a commitment to let my own uniqueness shine through more and more if you do the same. Deal?