Let’s talk about establishing, building and maintaining your private yoga business.
In my Private Yoga Business Starter Kit that I hope you have started studying, we spend a fair amount of time working on the fears and insecurities of new teachers, as well as utilizing some basic marketing tools, and getting clear on realistic business goals.
But the part that in many ways matters the most is this: RELATIONSHIPS.
I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Seriously.
When you get started running your own business, you have to rely first on relationships with people who will refer to you: friends, family, colleagues, people you meet socially in the world and virtually on social media. How you establish and nurture those relationships is going to be huge for the growth of your business. Let them feel your love of yoga and see your clear intent.
And here’s the thing: once you get clear on your goals (in this case building a successful yoga business), once you get over your fear of yoga marketing and set-up your “simple marketing loop,” once you start getting more business than you can handle, and all your available hours are booked —what then?!
Well, now maintaining your relationships with your private students is absolutely central to your journey as a teacher, especially teaching privates.Your #1 Private Yoga Business Concern: Relationships!
But don’t freak out, I’ve got you covered!
Here are three keys:
1) Communicate clearly. This takes mindfulness and forethought. It also takes courage and self-worth. Your communication begins at the first contact with your client. Own the fact that you are running a business. Be warm and friendly, but professional. Communicate the details of your service directly, clearly and in a matter-of-fact way. It helps to be prepared: how long are your sessions, where do they take place, how much do you charge, what is your cancellation policy, how do you describe what you do in a session.
You should be able to nail each of those questions in a 1 to 2 minute “elevator speech” that clearly establishes your service in the mind of your prospective private yoga client. Practice saying it out loud!
When you set clear expectations and boundaries your new client actually relaxes into the container you have created.
This tone will allow you to move forward with their respect, your integrity and the nature of the relationship established from the start.
2) Listen to your student’s needs. In addition to YOU communicating clearly, it is part of your job to listen thoughtfully to what your CLIENT needs as a yoga student. What are they hoping to get out of your sessions? What needs, challenges or issues are they letting you know about? How do you interpret their words, facial expressions, tone of voice and body language as you work together?
The way you respond to their experience both verbally and on the yoga mat will determine to what extent they feel seen, cared for and guided by you.
Don’t just go in with your agenda and try to dominate the situation with what you learned in teacher training. Let the experience of teaching be an opportunity for learning and growth. Study your students. Ask questions. Learn about different body types, injuries, and keep tailoring what you teach to their experience, to what you discover about their needs —by listening.
For many of us, being given this kind of attention is in-and-of-itself a life changing, healing experience.
As the teacher your students will be a gold mine of information that will keep deepening your knowledge and skill set, but only if you stay confidently humble and genuinely interested.
3) Be Impeccable. If you are late, apologize. But don’t be late. If you double-book or (heaven forbid) forget about a session for whatever reason, own the mistake, be sincere in your apologies and offer a free make-up session. If you misunderstand your client, or say something that hurts their feelings, clean it up compassionately. Communicate. Stay engaged in the relationship. You are going to be a significant part of this person’s life. Many private clients will see you 2 or more times a week for many years. Your role is to strive for integrity, kindness and clarity, and remember that you represent something very important to them —so how you relate to them is huge.
If they cancel late, remind them of your policy and ask them directly and neutrally to please pay for the session. When you see them next be empathetic about the missed session, and go over the schedule with them again to make sure all existing sessions are OK.
Mutual respect combined with genuine care and warmth is the foundation.
It takes practice —work on it!
So there you go, your three keys to maintaining relationships with your private yoga clients. I hope they are thought-provoking and beneficial! Which one of these made the most impact for you? Please let me know in the comments section below, and if you haven’t gotten started on the Private Yoga eBook, grab it now at the top of the page!
My experience these last 20 years is that teaching yoga is powerful on two deeply related levels:
First, we get to do something meaningful and creative for a living.
Second, we are thrust into a process of continuous learning and growth, facing our fears, staying present with the process, finding out how much we don’t know, and working within the feedback loop between our own journey and what we share with our students.
** Are You READY to build your 1-on-1 private business providing your services as a yoga teacher or massage therapist?!
My 3-week online video course Keys To Freedom is NOW OPEN for Registration.