There are a lot of opinions regarding the increasing sensation of competitiveness in the yoga industry. As yoga goes mainstream, shows up on covers of important magazines and more yoga teachers go into teacher trainings, it seems there are endless options for practicing.
However the yoga industry evolves and matures, I would like to challenge all of us to think differently. Because I rather see the opportunities in the yoga industry as it grows than to believe it’s already saturated. So, if it feels that current space is getting too tight, it’s probably time to get a larger space and break the current mold. Why do I say that? Because we have seen it happen in many different industries before.
In a world where competition and ego are the norms, loving is revolutionary.
Building credibility with your close group
Aaron Ross, author of Predictable Revenue and from Impossible to Inevitable is the master at building predictable sales cycles for subscription businesses. A subscription business is any service or product provided that is billed on a monthly basis, from Netflix, to Quickbooks to a yoga studio. One of the things that Aaron preaches in his books, is that when moving a prospect (or customer) through a sales cycle each individual in the sales cycle needs to build credibility for the next person. So the pre-sales qualification person talks about the expertise the salesperson has. The salesperson in his turn talks highly about the customer success and implementation team.
This method creates a positive experience as the buyer goes through the sales funnel – you build credibility by praising all the team. The client hears all the compliments and already expects a positive experience. It expects to talk to amazing people.
In the yoga industry, this could be the equivalent to passing on students from different levels and skills to other teachers. Instead of trying to cater to every level and every student, give some students away and focus on your core teachings. But try to do so by highly praising the teacher you are referring the student to.
Praising yoga industry professionals as much as you can
I noticed recently in a closed Growth Marketers group that they pat each other’s backs constantly: commenting on their Facebook, Instagram and blog posts, and giving each other referrals on LinkedIn. They are building momentum between them and expanding their reach. This creates a perception of greatness from anyone outside the group. Any outsiders think that they are really engaged with the cause and with each others’ success.
In the yoga industry, this is the exact equivalent of praising each other online. Comment, share, and like in abundance: it’s free. Spread the word on yoga, no matter who initiated the conversation. The more we talk about yoga, more people will join the conversation.
Creating an organic referral system
The referral habit is highly cultivated by small businesses. Notice especially in touristic towns how much they pass business around and everyone wins. If you get to a seafood restaurant looking for sushi, they gladly point you in the right direction. They know that if you stay, you will never be fully satisfied. Most of them also highly value their Tripadvisor or Yelp review, so they look for all the experiences and interactions to remain very positive.
In the yoga industry, this could be the equivalent to referring students, especially when you know you are not the best person for them. This also requires self-knowledge of your business: what clients do you focus on and which ones do you choose to pass. Refer people without fear of losing anything. What goes around, comes around.
If we truly want to promote yoga and create growth, we must stop promoting ourselves all the time and start promoting others a lot more. The power and positive energy that this generates are far better and bigger than any possible marketing for the yoga industry.
Photo credit: Cavagnaro Photography