The “starving artist” has competition, and apparently, it’s yoga teachers. It’s no secret that when you decided to become a yoga teacher, there were whispers every which way telling you that you’d never make enough money, you’d need a second job, and that this choice wouldn’t be sustainable as a full-time gig.
Only 29% of yoga teachers claim that it is their primary source of income (according to the Yoga Alliance 2016 statistics).
Our hearts drive us. We are passionate about our work and love to share this tool and practice. It can be difficult for some to accept the idea of paying money in exchange for spiritual services – I understand that.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that yoga teachers cannot maintain a financially sustainable life that is balanced with self-care. Teaching 15+ classes at 2-3 studios a week for a salary that is likely to be nickels and dimes after you factor in your commute, planning, and other time before and after class may not be sustainable over the long term.
Your goals and purposes should be a constant focus.
Take a few minutes to write down your “why.” You can write down the reasons you chose to start a teacher-training program. Why are you here now? Why do you do the things you do?
The next step is to start aligning yourself with your own goals as a teacher of yoga. Think big picture, but keep your goals attainable. You might decide to quit your 9-5 job to become a full-time teacher. You might want to earn a certain amount per year by teaching. You might want to become a yoga instructor for pregnant women.
What would your ideal week look like to you?
This is a little check-in I do periodically to see how much and how often I work on my business. Here, you’re in charge. You’re the boss.
On a sheet of paper, write Sunday through Saturday. Draw a horizontal line with a colored pen or highlighter through your ideal work days. Draw a horizontal line from Monday to Friday. Or maybe your perfect work week is Tuesday through Saturday.
Write down the hours that you’d like to devote to teaching and working. You’ll want to keep those slots available if you enjoy having the afternoons free to run errands or practice your yoga in the evenings. You can use the following example: Mondays 9 am-12 pm; 2 pm-4 pm; Tuesdays 7 am-10 am; 5 pm-8 pm and so on.
Write down some notes under your ideal schedule for the week. You need to be honest with yourself and be realistic. How much do you need per week to cover your business and personal costs? Note it down. Please write it down. Also, write down the amount you would like to earn.
Change your mindset to that of a yoga teacher who is also an entrepreneur.
We need to change our mindset and acquire new skills as a business owner in order to become a more sustainable teacher. You won’t manage or grow your business efficiently if you don’t have some marketing, accounting, and sales skills.
Accounting – Manage your cash flow, your inflow of funds, and your outgoing expenditures. Tracking all receipts and bills is important. It’s important to learn how to manage money and keep things in perspective if you want to meet your goals.
Marketing: Spend some time, effort, and money to market your products. You could create a website, put up social media ads or posters, sell yourself on social media for free, or write guest blogs for websites in your industry or niche.
Sales: How do you collect payment from someone who wants to attend a class or a workshop with you? How do you track your clients? Set up systems that make it easier for clients to pay and book you.
Create a system of communication that is consistent.
First impressions are important. The way we present ourselves and our brands can indeed have a profound impact on our audience and leave a lasting impression.
It’s important to connect things back to you and to the people that you are connecting with.
Create a logo or wordmark that is consistent. You can create a logo or wordmark using a simple font. The key is to make sure you use the same font consistently in all your communications.
Set yourself up with 2-3 main fonts and colors that you will use in all your graphics and communications. It will make it easier for your audience to connect you to these elements across different platforms and outlets.
Check-in on your brand’s tone and language. It is how you convey your message verbally and in writing so that it is understandable by your audience. If you work with beginners often, Sanskrit may be confusing or intimidating.
A consistent visual representation of your yoga business will help people to recognize and remember you.
Join forces with other wellness professionals who share your passion.
Meet other yogis and wellness entrepreneurs with similar values or audience goals. Other yoga teachers can be a great resource to help you reach a larger audience and add value to your existing offerings.
Set up a 15-minute chat or coffee date with teachers in your area. Reach out to teachers online if your town lacks them. Many Facebook groups support yoga teachers from all over the world. I have created a group with teachers of all backgrounds helping each other build your yoga brand and a sustainable teaching business.
Bonus tip: Do something every day to promote your yoga business.
It takes a lot of work to move from subsistence living to sustainability. I can relate to the struggles, burnout, and challenges of a yoga teaching career.
With the right tools, knowledge, and support, you can begin to move away from the constant hustle of life to one that is more sustainable.
You’ll be in great shape if you do just one thing a day to grow your yoga business. This means that you should do one thing per day to grow your business, and it doesn’t have to be standing in front of students. You can do it!