This morning I was catching up on my Huff Post reading from last week’s vacation. Huff Post is my morning candy. I eat it up with my coffee after breakfast and before I blow dry my hair. This morning I smirked when I read the title : Yoga: The New Career Path for Corporate Execs. The exodus of yet another stressed out corporate drone making a run for the bliss. The whole article felt like “been there, done that” to me, but I am sure it was insightful to those embarking on their first training or teaching gig.
One thing that irked me in the article was how they kept referring to the teaching of yoga as a pseudo business. Specifically that teaching yoga full time was “like running your own independent business.”
No Shit. Really?
This is exactly why many teachers struggle- they treat their yoga [business] as a cute little thing they do instead of the actual business it is. If you’re teaching yoga full time, guess what? You are running your own independent business. In order to be successful, you need to do more than simply prepare for your 5pm advanced flow class. You have to market, network and plan. We all got in it for the love of yoga, but we need to manage it like the business it is.
You have to take your yoga business seriously, manifest while getting off your ass, and figure out your awesome-sauce. <~~~ Tweet it!
That’s right AWESOME SAUCE.
What I refer to awesome-sauce, in the
stuffy business world is called your Unique Selling Pproposition (USP). It’s your mojo. It’s what makes you different + unique. It’s not simply your energy as a human being or your voice as a teacher. It’s tangible. Well, not that you can pick it up, but you sure as hell can write it down.
It’s the statement that explains how your yoga [business] is different than every other yoga teacher or studio. It tells your students and Potential Raving Fans how you can help them and what makes you special. It’s in the sauce. Your Awesome Sauce essentially tells them why they should take your advanced flow class instead of the power II class around the corner. It takes thoughtful creativity to come up with the recipe to your Awesome Sauce, but it’s the biggest decision you’ll ever make for your business.
Why You Need Awesome Sauce
Put simply, you’re not the only yoga teacher (or studio) on the block. We’re not as unique as we were in 1997. We’re almost a dime a dozen- what bored housewife isn’t embarking on her 200hr training? You need to stand out. You want your students to think of YOU when they desperately need that little sliver of bliss and just 10 more minutes of savasana. If you create a delicious recipe for your Awesome Sauce, it will stick in their memory and put you above any other class they could squeeze in.
There are three things that make Awesome Sauce:
- We got Needs!! It must address the needs of your potential students. You gotta have that little some some they can’t live without, that solves their problems, or makes their lives easier. Yep, yoga.
- It’s memorable. It has to stick in people’s minds so that you’re the one they think of when they need yoga.
- Emotional Connection. Awesome Sauce speaks to the fears, worries, desires, and frustrations of your students.
Awesome Sauce is especially essential in a crowded market. And let me tell ya, this yoga thing isn’t getting any less popular. If you’re up against a large number of
competitors studios + teachers, you need an especially tastey Awesome Sauce to cut through the noise. On the other hand, even if your business is the only game in town, you still need Awesome Sauce that speaks to and connects with your students. You want to change them from passive students, to raving fans. It’s not only about battling the competition, but also establishing your brand in the minds of your customers.
Pack away your nuts, little squirrel!
Failing to plan is a plan for failure! Amazingly, a majority of those who start their own businesses (even outside the yoga world) fail to create a unique selling proposition. Of those who don’t, almost 100% fail. (I just made that statistic up, but you catch my drift). Here’s the deal: Awesome Sauce doesn’t guarantee success. You gotta put your money where your mouth is and deliver on the promise.
The Creative Process
Your Awesome Sauce won’t just appear out of thin air. Sorry, it takes time, thought and creativity. Silver lining? It’s not hard to come up with the right message if you follow certain steps. Pay attention to your market, check out your competitors, what’s their Awesome Sauce? Differentiate and define yours. Analyze your teaching methods, style and voice. Figure out why you’re connected to yoga. What has it done for you? If you can pin point that, the benefit you’re delivering to your students is obvious. We’re not talking any (or all) benefits from taking yoga, but the ones they’ll get from taking your yoga class. Let me repeat for clarity: Not just any yoga class, your yoga class. Those benefits keep students coming back for more. It’s the key ingredient to your Awesome Sauce. If you put in the time and refine as necessary, you will create the Awesome Sauce that will skyrocket your yoga business.