I get asked all the time: Susanne, where do I start? How do I build my business?
Here’s your roadmap, what I would do if I would start today as a yoga teacher, wanting to earn money with my teachings.
Step #1: Get clear on your mission
When we are just getting started, we typically say yes to everything. We start taking on things we might actually resent, we do things that are really not going to help our business grow, and we say “yes” to helping other people when we would really rather say “no.” We just make these decisions because are desperate. We don’t know what’s going to work and we need to make money right.
This is actually great, because you can learn so much from doing this. You’ll learn what you enjoy. What you hate doing. What really lights you up.
Instead of making some bad decisions about your business model early on, I say don’t make those big decisions about your business model just yet. Allow yourself some flexibility, some breathing space, and some room for experimentation.
And then, maybe six months in, you hopefully know much more about what you want to do.
Now it’s time to work on your mission.
When you are clear on your mission and let this inspire everything you do, you give people a reason to care. You are able to inspire passion. And that’s how you create loyal followers and students.
Step #2: Build your brand and website
This is a big step, but you can start small. You definitely don’t have to go all in and hire a branding expert and website designer.
When you’re just starting out, you can build yourself a simple website, for example with the help of my course Blissful Websites, or you can look at tools like Squarespace or Wix.
It’s probably not going to look as polished as a professionally designed website, but for the start that really doesn’t matter.
A beautiful website alone won’t help you grow your business. The content and messaging on it are what’s really important. This is what you need to work on.
And when you have that, you will connect to your ideal customers, no matter what your website looks like.
Next, you want to focus on your offerings, on what you’re actually putting out there in the world to help people, and here I recommend developing a signature workshop.
Step #3: Create a signature workshop
A workshop feels different than a normal yoga class. It normally lasts longer and is also a bit more expensive for your students, and of course they also expect more. It’s an event!
The great thing is you don’t have to develop something new all the time. You create one workshop, and then you work with this and improve it and make it better. But you don’t need to create a new yoga sequence for it every single time you give it for example, or a new playlist.
For your signature workshop you want to find a topic that you are passionate about. That lights you up. That you can’t stop talking about.
It could be for example how to create a yoga home practice, arm balances for beginners, aromatherapy, pranayama, meditation.
Start offering your workshop on a consistent basis, you can get in touch with yoga studios in different locations if you can hold it there, or you can rent a space.
This will help you earn money – as I said, a workshop normally has a higher price point than a normal yoga class, actually you definitely should ask for more money, and it’s a great way to broaden your reach and build your student numbers.
The point is to learn as much as possible about your students, what they struggle with, what they need help with, how you can help them, and what you really love doing.
Step #4: Offer free content on a consistent basis and build your email list
To sell anything you need to have an audience first. That’s why I recommend having a blog and creating free, valuable content that you share with your audience on a consistent basis.
It doesn’t have to be a written blog. It could also be a podcast, or YouTube videos.
The point is, you want to give your students the chance to get to know you and your teaching style, to connect with you and to see you as the expert.
If you’ve listened to one of my last podcast episodes with Dagmar from Montezuma Yoga, she shared that her YouTube videos really help her selling spaces on her yoga retreats, because people tried her videos and liked her style, and this makes them sign up without knowing her in person. It really works!
Creating and sharing free content will also help you understand better what you want to do, what you want to deliver, how you want to teach, and what your audience really needs and wants from you, that intersection is really important to figure out.
Step #5: Create your first online course
In many situations, including my own, a business model that offers a lot of flexibility, consistent revenue, and an abundance of opportunity to impact your audience is building online courses.
I’m so passionate about teaching how to create online courses because it really is an amazing business model. Again, there is a lot of flexibility, consistent revenue when you set it up right, and if you love to create content and you love to teach then this is definitely a business model I want you to look into.
When you’ve followed the steps I outlined you should have a pretty good idea of who are your students, what are they struggling with, and how you could help them.
Most of us that are creating online training courses are going to do so because our potential student has a problem or a challenge. Or, maybe it’s just a really deep desire. You want to get very clear about what that is.
Once you get clear about who your potential student is and what their challenge or problem or desire is, from there you want to decide what kind of results you are going to get for your students. What results do they genuinely need and want?
This is going to be the foundation for your online course.
If you need some inspiration of what’s possible, I recorded an episode where I share 15 ideas for yoga related online courses. It’s my most popular episode, so definitely listen to it if you’re looking for some inspiration on online courses.