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The Four Magic Steps of the Marketing Process

“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” – The Chartered institute of Marketing.

Wow. As dictionary definitions go that’s pretty dry.

On the other hand, perform any kind of Google or Amazon search including the word ‘marketing’ and the result may well make you want to lie in savasana and never get up.

As if teaching yoga is not enough of a challenge, it’s increasingly necessary in a crowded market to work out the best and most engaging ways of presenting your classes or your business. It’s survival, not of the fittest, but of the most commercially aware and well read.

Marketing gets confused with all sorts of other things: brand (which we discussed at length here), advertising (which is just one specialised part of marketing) and often plain and simple promotion (eg. bring a friend and you practice for free!)

Back to corpse pose with a headache right?

Wait a second.  To save you from reading through the hundreds of posts, articles and ebooks that are out there, we have condensed the marketing process into four easy steps.

Of course, this is not all there is to say, and if you really want to invest time in getting your marketing strategy as precise as a well executed extended side angle pose, we recommend you check out our multimedia training Yoginomics 101.

But to put our mat slap bang in the middle of the studio, so to speak, here are the four most common sense steps you can follow in order to successfully drive your marketing process.

1. Define your brand/product

There are as many resources out there about brand as there are about marketing. Pinning down your brand involves identifying the DNA of your business proposition, whether that be you as a solo teacher, or your studio. It’s what makes you special and different. It’s the petrol that keeps the car running.

Marketing is more about delivery – it’s about the roadmap, the planning and operations involved in delivering your message. Brand is the WHY & WHAT, marketing is the HOW. But defining your promise to your customers, the experience of yoga that you will offer, has to come first.

From your style of teaching to your areas of specialism, your classes, workshops and events, make sure you know what your product looks like, and get as much feedback from friends and family as possible to validate your ideas.

2. Identify your audience

“Defining your target audience is probably the hardest and most overlooked aspect of marketing.” Nate Moller

Yoga is an incredibly broad industry. There are niches for everyone. This being said, it is even more crucial to think about your target customer profile, even if you appreciate that your classes may contain students of all ages and backgrounds.

You might want to consider creating a brief outline (pen and paper at the ready!) of some of the key characteristics of YOUR ideal student. This is sometimes called a persona or an avatar. Elements of this profile may include: their age, background, profession, and interests. It can extend to what makes them happy and motivated, and what keeps them up at night.

The more you can put yourself into the mind of your students, the better placed you will be to work out what makes them tick and how your message and your offering fits with their needs. Get your most empathetic hat on, and you will be there in no time.

3. Know your marketing channels

The hyper-connected, always-on nature of the information age means that we have even more choice in terms of working out ways to deliver our marketing message. Choosing what is known as your ‘marketing mix’ – print, web, social, mobile, in person – can therefore seem like a more boggling task than ever.

Given that the majority of marketing channels you will look at (especially on a budget) will be digital, your message needs to fit the medium by being attention grabbing, easy to digest and on brand.

However, given that digital is so NOW, it’s easy to overlook some of the other channels that pay great dividends. Print can still work for example: look at the chichi little Moo business cards to be found in studios around the country.

And at the other end of the spectrum, remember that word of mouth remains one of the most persuasive marketing weapons available to you.

4. Execute. And if you can’t, find someone who can!

“In real life, marketing strategy is really quite straightforward. You set a general direction and then you implement like hell.” Jack Welch

Identifying your brand is crucial. Planning your marketing strategy is no less key. Having the right goals and mindset will take you a long way in terms of launching yourself into yoga as a professional.

We talk a lot in yoga about the power of intention. But all of this is meaningless if you are not in a position to start executing, and more importantly to continue doing so.

If your first marketing push leads to full classes and great testimonials – fantastic but this will dwindle unless you build on the momentum you’ve created.

And if it gets too much for one person to handle? Then you know things are really working! We will talk about building your team in the coming weeks.

So try and turn off all the external noise about marketing, because when you get down to nuts and bolts, there are some easily grasped ‘must do’ steps.

And the beauty of this easy guide? It works for everyone, from artists to bankers to nurses.

Start here, but then be sure to contact us with more detailed questions. Want a more definitive guide? Click here!

About The Author

Jules Barber

Jules Barber is the Founder & Creator of Yoginomics. Having worked in a golden cage in London for 15 years she sold out of her business to become a yoga teacher, corporate wellness specialist and location independent entrepreneur, on a mission to mentor and coach the next generation of amazing yogis - teachers and students alike.

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