Having a teacher certification doesn’t automatically put you in a windowed studio with a full class of clients and incense lit, softly teaching an inspired and dynamic class. But it can. As with any endeavor, the energy you put in is usually what you get back, and making smart business choices about the work you put into your personal business can help you build a dynamic and successful career much more quickly than less-strategized efforts. The following 5 tips can help you work smarter rather than harder, and catapult you into a beautiful and successful career that inspires others, and yourself.
1. GET CLEAR
Know your strengths. And your weaknesses. When you become clear about what structures you work best under, look at where you find it easiest to expend energy and where it is the hardest. If marketing is your strength, but class preparation takes a loss, when developing a business plan make sure to be cognizant of those patterns. Drive hard into your strengths, these will allow you to get what you want and succeed, but hold yourself accountable in conducting the less-attractive ‘chores’ that need to be completed for your company. Are you better working under the structure and protection of a studio, or running your own independent classes? Where do you work best: what types of studio environments, how large of a class, and what speed of asana? What physical practices can you embody that will substantially benefit or change the dynamics of your class?
2. Find Your Unique Value
To run a business, you offer a product, work, or value that you can then be compensated for. One can provide a product or value that can be obtained somewhere else, but to run a successful business that is sustainable there needs to be something you impart that is of unique benefit to the consumer. This allows you to value up compensation for your service, have a sustainable flow of continued customers, and set yourself apart from the competition. What unique value do you offer? And in what way can you be compensated for that value? Having a business run by you, and only you, requires you to be clear on your vision. Get comfortable with who you are, what you represent, and what ultimate benefit you want to impart on the consumer.
3. Utilize your Connections
Now, embodying your unique vision in your teaching and services is one thing, and if attractive will ensure continuous returns, but marketing it is another. How can you ensure not only the continuing students you already have in the classroom, but new ones as well? If you have no students; start small, reach into the circles you already run in, the social media platforms you have already built, and the friends and family you know could benefit from your value. Once you have a steady base, you can employ friends and family discounts, two-for-one deals at less expensive rates, and expand from the small circle you have started with. Teachers also help teachers. Subbing classes and engaging in communities that are similarly employed to you will expose you to new students, as well as new opportunities for work. Who do you know that would benefit from your services? Who can you ask to recommend you to their community and friends as well? Where can you ‘hang out’ that will put you in kinship and community with other teachers?
4. Market a Unique Brand
It is important to market yourself to individuals beyond your personal and extended personal networks. There are many ways to do this, but the main element running through any profitable advertising method is successfully communicating your unique offering. After developing your unique benefit to the consumer, find a branding that streamlines this. How can you put this unique benefit into words, and in what way can that marketing ALSO be different from others? What colors and images would attractively convey and represent your unique vision? What platforms can you use? Are there any less common outlets?
5. Get Active
Just like on the mat, running a successful business requires you stretching and pushing your limits to the utmost degree. Altering and fine-tuning your process as you take rejection and hit limitations is exactly what will yield you positive results in the long run. Start small. Email local studios your resume and start to build muscle in communicating yourself as a teacher in a marketable way, then flex those new muscles and begin to email more successful studios. Take each rejection, because you will get them, as a way to look at your process and see what you can tweak, which side you can lean into, and how you can successfully reach your desired goal. Keep Running. If you get a job, or have a successful article published about you, use that momentum and run with it. It is much easier to cite a recent achievement than one from years ago.
About the author: Ariana Shadan teaches business development to yoga instructors and innovators, leading annual and bi-annual retreats to help teachers expand their businesses and personal branding platforms.
Join her Ignite Your Business workshop on June 9th in Mill Valley, California.