Business, Social Media

Facebook 101 Series

facebook-2This month I am going to talk a little bit about Facebook. It’s not the first time. It probably won’t be my last.  Facebook posts always seem to garner lots of responses. I think it’s because many yoga teachers and studios owners are either Facebook averse or they’re not utilizing it to their advantage. It’s time to change that. Facebook and social media isn’t going away, it’s actually becoming more and more essential to our business success.   Being a business owner is hard. All of a sudden we’re supposed to be experts not only in our field and craft but in marketing, social media and website design too.  It’s ridiculously frustrating – trust me, I know.  I don’t expect you to become a Facebook or social media expert, but you should know enough to use it to your advantage. I ‘m not a Facebook expert, but I learn from experts.

Today I am going to get a little dangerous and do a little Facebook breakdown for you. Facebook comes in basically three flavors for your business: the profile, the Fan Page and the Group.  If you’re currently rocking your business in flavor number 1- stop it. First, it’s against the rules, second you won’ t be seen and lastly, you could run out of friends – you’re only allowed 5k you know. Create a Fanpage and migrate that shit over.  Every business should have a Fanpage and here’s why:

It’s all Marketing, baby. 
Using your personal Facebook account profile for your business is limiting. Search engines may pick up your name via your Facebook profile, but not necessarily the name of your business. It’s all in the SEO.  It just makes more sense to use Facebook to your advantage + be found by search engines.

Another core issue with using your personal Facebook account for marketing is privacy settings. Businesses aren’t private, well I guess some may be, but not Yoga Business. You want to, need to get out there.  If you want other people to see the information you are sharing on Facebook with your private account, they first have to be accepted by you as a friend. This is an extra step that delays that person from being able to interact with you. Facebook offers business pages that are more search engine and people friendly.

Creating a Fan Page
Fan Pages, are optimized for small and large businesses. They are currently the most ideal way for businesses to promote themselves on Facebook for several reasons, including the ability to brand an individual page with your own style and layout. Facebook Pages feature tabs that can include very similar content to what is typically available on static websites. Great uses for Facebook tabs include a newsletter signup tab and a coupon tab for customers who like the page. These types of tabs can lead to increased sales and provide you with vital contact information to reach out to customers via email as well.

SEO. Lets get back to that for a moment, shall we? Facebook has already established itself as a reputable resource within search engines. Facebook Pages with the proper keywords may have an easier time being discovered on search engines because of Facebook’s high traffic volume and online integrity.

Connecting with your tribe.
Your family isn’t your tribe. You tribe is made up of potential new customers and raving fans. You need to build a deeper connection with them. Connect to your family and your high school ex boyfriends on your personal page.  Connect to your tribe on your Fan Page. It’s free and easy to create, Facebook Pages can bring the type of targeted attention and traffic to your business or website that just isn’t possible with your personal profile.

If you’re promoting and marketing your yoga business through your personal profile your challenge this week is to create a Fan Page and tell your friends to like it!

Next up, Facebook Groups!

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Inspiration

In Yo Face Friday

Sometimes I feel bogged down. Juggling too many balls. Life gets in the way. I get in my own way.  It’s hard. Running a business is hard. Having a job is hard. being a wife is hard.  Life can be hard.  You know what makes it easier, I mean, besides a personal assistant?  Gratitude.  And when you truly begin to practice gratitude life begins to unfold and blossom in amazing ways. You become the a powerful maker of your own destiny and a manifesting master.

For a long time, I was ungrateful resentful of my legal education. I felt only as if it were a ball and chain of debt, holding me back from what I really wanted to do. It took me a long time to let go of the resentment and just deal with it. Once the resentment was gone, I slowly became grateful. Grateful that I had the skills to assist my clients with filing LLCs, negotiating contracts, understanding liability. Now that I am grateful for my legal background, that aspect of my business is flourishing. I am continuing to help yoga teachers and studios in new, creative ways.  It’s all part of the master design, but it didn’t fall together until I started practicing gratitude.

#practicegratitude
#practicegratitude
Business, Yoga

In Yo Face Friday

I believe in putting action behind your mantra. In the non-yoga world that’s called putting your money where your mouth is.

When I first started digging into yoga, reiki, the metaphysical, the law of attraction, abundance, manifestation and all the other new age goodness, I lost the type-a hustler in me. I had extreme faith in my ability to manifest anything I wanted into existence. I still do.  For a little while I forgot I needed to get off my ass and hustle, I couldn’t just meditate + vision board abundance into existence.

Thank Goddess, I remembered.

Last summer, I attended the Business of Yoga Conference in DC sponsored by the Yoga Alliance. It’s a fantastic conference, I highly recommend it and I thoroughly enjoyed 90% of the sessions I attended. BUT the entire time I was there, I wanted to know why the F am I not on their presenters list? I certainly should have been.

The months leading up to the conference, when the RFP went out for speakers I was floating somewhere between lacking confidence and believing that someone would eventually see my brilliance, reach out to me and demand that I speak.  So I meditated on it. I created a vision board around it. And I never submitted a response to their RFP. Guess what? No one came knocking down my door, demanding I deliver my brilliance to the eager yogis in DC.

Why? Because I sat on my meditation pillow. And when I got off my meditation pillow my hands were filled with magazine clippings and glue sticks (and more than likely a little sage). The most action I took was laying down my credit card to register for the conference.

It takes more than that. You have to dare to dream, but you also have to take measurable steps towards that dream. You have to set measurable goals and take steps towards achieving them.  You have to…

Meditation hustle

There are a lot of yoga business coaches out there and more and more are launching every single day. With studios opening like Starbucks, can you blame them? We all have different experience. Different expertise. Their awesome sauce doesn’t taste quite like mine [side note: Kelis is now raging through my brain]. But in order for me to stand out, I not only have to differentiate, I have to HUSTLE.

So I hustled.

I would love for you to join me in LA at the 2014 Business of Yoga Conference sponsored by Yoga Alliance.  I will be hosting a breakout session discussing  The Affordable Care Act: Your Ticket to Abundance.

Yup. Everyday I’m hustlin.

Inspiration

In Yo Face Friday

This post rides on the coat tails of my goal setting series, when really it should have come first.  You can’t achieve anything without dreaming of it first.  Yous MUST dare to dream.  Dreaming is where it all begins.  The idea, the dream, the what if? The problem with adults is that we forget to dare to dream. We simply get caught up on doing.  We NEED big fat juicy dreams.

Dream Believe Achieve

What are your big fat juicy dreams? I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.  Tell me in the comments below  or head over to Facebook.

xox

Terra

Inspiration, Yoga

Own It.

Yup, the hiatus is over. It’s time for In Yo Face Friday.

Today I want to talk about owning it. Owning who you are and what you do with every ounce of your being.  Stop shying away from your perceived flaws.  For a long time, the yogini in me was ashamed of the lawyer in me.  I couldn’t reconcile the two aspects of my personality. The type-a, analytical, demanding side of me always seemed to be at conflict with the gentle, soft, energy healer in me.   Before my yoga training, the legal side hardened me. I felt as if my compassion and empathy were weaknesses. The opposite was true after my yoga training. For some reason yoga quieted my voice. I didn’t fit perfectly into the yoga teacher box, so my personality shrank. Only recently have I come to realize these juxtapositions are exactly my gifts to the world.

Own it

Never quiet your voice. Own it.

Business, Yoga

8 Tips for Studio-Teacher Retention + Loyalty

This blog goes out to all of my studio owners out there.  If you want the best studio in your area, you have to attract, fill and retain teaching talent. Pretty simple, right? Not always.  Most teachers pay their bills by packing their schedule with classes taught at any number of studios.  While I don’t think that’s the best way to build a sustainable business as a yoga teacher, that’s for another blog post entirely.  For a studio to be off the charts successful, hell even if your goal is just to operate out of the red,  loyalty is essential for your success. I’m not talking about the loyalty of your students, right now I am talking about the loyalty of your teaching staff.

Let me take a moment here, take it back to my law school days and set up a little hypothetical:  

I stole and edited this image from http://musicorspaceshuttle.com/tag/indie-rock/
I stole and edited this image from http://musicorspaceshuttle.com/tag/indie-rock/

You’re the owner of Rockin Yoga Studio and you just hired Candace to teach a Vinyasa class. You didn’t give her the best time slot, but she’s new and of course she needs to prove herself to get the killer class times, right?  You decide to pay her a flat rate and a per head bonus for every additional student over a certain number, let’s say 10.   You verbally agree to the terms of “employment”, add Candace to the schedule and website.  Candace also teaches at Yoga Studio B and Yoga Studio C, both about 5 miles away in different directions.  You have no idea what the other studios pay Candace.  Candace is socially active in your town and very friendly. She can be seen chatting up strangers at the local health foods, store, juice bar and even Target.  You have no idea what Candace gets paid to teach at Studio B and Studio C.  You DO know that if she’s chatting up potential yoga students, you want them coming to your Rockin Yoga Studio.

How are you going to ensure that Candace is loyal to your Rockin Yoga Studio and not Studio B or Studio C?  You could make her sign a non-compete clause stating she won’t teach within a 20 mile radius of your Rockin Yoga Studio, but that’s not very yogic is it? You definitely don’t want to be known as the Rockin Yoga Studio owner asshole, right?  Remember, we need to come from a place of abundance, not scarcity.  {if you feel that a non-compete employment clause is the way to go for you, you best sweeten the deal by offering a banging salary, health insurance and retirement 401k options}.

This may sound like a bunch of business mumbo-jumbo, but DO NOT FORGET, you are in fact running a business! It’s essential to focus on hiring strategies, employee development and career succession and planning…even in yoga studios.  Most studios are not well prepared to fill vacancies in leaders of their teaching staff. Many can barely find last minute subs! By employing consistent, studio-wide “talent management programs” at all levels studios can develop effective teachers and ROI (that’s return on investment for the business acronym challenged). So here 8 tips to build studio-teacher retention and loyalty:

Live Your Brand.  This tip is my #1 go to for every question about the business of yoga. for a studio to flourish you need to determine your studio style, tap into your awesome sauce and ensure your studio is living its brand. Make sure the teachers you hire are aware of your studio personality (brand) and will meet its expectations. Do not forget to clearly articulate what your expectations are. If your studio is known for post class tea time, let your teachers know you expect them to mingle with the students after class for at least 20 minutes.  Set expectations so your teachers understand and can live your brand.

Identify the Gaps Will Rockin Yoga Studio be headed into the red if you pull your hamstring and can’t teach for a month or if your star teacher decides to up and move to Taos?  If so, that’s a big red flag.  You need to determine the studio’s current and future leadership needs. Compare those requirements with the current staff. Identify current teacher(s) that may be at risk as well as current teacher(s) that could step up to the plate in times of needs. How is your teaching pipeline, do you have a robust sub list?

Identify Your Teaching Talent It is important to gauge your teacher’s talent beyond the teaching audition to get the job. While you can probably decipher teacher popularity by running your class metrics through MindBody Online, you should also get regular feedback from your students and other staff members. Using this feedback you can develop the talent of your teachers.  By implementing competency modules for your teachers you can identify teaching potential as well as fill deficiencies. You can also implement a mentoring program by teaming up seasoned teachers with the less experienced. Competency modules and mentoring programs can also be used as a performance review, which is essential ensure teachers are keeping your students safe and developing their profession.

Develop Skills Roadmaps – once you have identified your high-potential teachers, develop a skills road map for your future superstar teachers. People learn and develop new skills inside and outside the studio. To support informal learning, you should consider activities such as coaching, rotational assignments, shadowing/mentorships and project (Seva) leaderships. At the core, the very definition of learning should reflect today’s non-traditional learning approaches and incorporate social networking tools into the process.

Staff Development Program To build loyalty and retention, it is essential for studios to give back to their teachers. The majority of studio owners give little thought to staff development and education.  Studio owners tend to be essentially non-linear in their thinking and business planning -they know they have to hire teachers and staff (usually as independent contractors, not full employees) and they see this as an expenditure or cost to their bottom line, when in actuality, their teachers and staff if developed properly are their greatest asset. The ROI on staff development is easily quantifiable.  It includes retention, morale, efficiency, competency and customer satisfaction. (could literally talk for hours about staff development and return on investment, so I’ll save the deeper insight for another blog post).

Career Development  – This is tied directly to the Staff Development Program. Career planning may not be something the average yoga teacher  or studio owner thinks about. We tend to live in the moment and possibly plan our next class, next workshop or next retreat. Thinking about it as a career is a switch that needs to be flipped. In a traditional business setting, research shows that companies that support career planning for their employees earn business benefits in both retention and engagement.  If your studio doesn’t provide employees with career planning, someone else will.  Self-service career planning will help motivate and retain talent by empowering them to generate a view with a career plan.

Develop Retention + Rewards Programs – If there’s one thing every yoga teacher has in common, it’s our insatiable desire to learn more about everything yoga. Every single teacher out there wants to continue to learn and develop their skills, and they’ll move mountains to be able to afford to do so. – offer trainings, workshop scholarships etc. linking pay to performance can be a strong employee motivator (paying per student) , however goal  alignment may hep potential leaders stay focused on what is important for the studio. Recognize excellence in performance with a retention program., base the upside of any bonus potential on the success of both the company and the student.

Create Community – Your studio doesn’t simply serve your students.  If there’s one thing you need to remember, it’s that your studio is also a kula for your teachers and staff. As with any relationship, familial or otherwise, you need to foster its connection. Schedule regular staff meetings.  Implement quarterly staff events and trainings. Give your teachers a reason to be loyal to your Rockin Yoga Studio.

YHC Yoga Teachers Family '10.
YHC Yoga Teachers Family ’10.

You will notice that each of the above tips on building studio-teacher retention + loyalty all build from one another. One grows from the next and each are important. If Candace knew your Rockin Yoga Studio was there to foster her skills as a teacher, was interested in her career development and had her back like a family member don’t you think she’d be pimpin out your Rockin Yoga Studio in Whole Foods instead of Studio B or C?

Do you use any of these strategies for teacher retention? Do they work for you?  I’d love to hear from you!

Empowerment, Inspiration, Spirituality

In Yo Face Friday

You guys want to help me with the tumble weeds around here?  It’s the end of February and it has been almost two months since my last post. I broke the cardinal rule of blogging- you actually have to blog. Now let me take some time to provide you with the excuses.

1. Holidays.
2. Frustration.
3. Overwhelm.
4. Excuses suck.

Here’s what really happened….the holidays came and priorities were inadvertently shuffled. Food. Family. Stress. Then I got frustrated over not having time for myself, my husband and my business on top of the 9-5 schlep and my volunteer work.  So I broke cardinal rule #2 – working in my business instead of working on my business. I decided everything needed to be done all at once and I was the best person to do it. Shit with my web designer hit the fan (see how the website isn’t launched yet?) and I started moving horizontally instead of vertically.

Enter overwhelm.

When overwhelm hits and you’re already frustrated everything comes to a grinding halt. Why? Because all of a sudden your brain is torn between the ‘woulda, coulda shoulda’ land of the past and the ‘what if’ land of the future.  The moment you enter the scary dark corners of the past and /or the future the most important thing disappears. The present. 

The most important thing you can do in life; for your self, your business, your practice your friends, your family, your community, for everyone you encounter is STAY PRESENT.

My inaction over the past month and a half was a sweet reminder of how important the present is.  Time to get back on the wagon, ya heard?

#beherenow
#beherenow