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How To Get More Private Yoga Clients: Ultimate Guide (2021)

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Want to know how to get more private yoga clients? Well, you’re in the right place!

Whether you already offer private yoga sessions or you’re just looking for some advice on how to get more yoga students in general, we’ve got it covered.

We’re about to share 11 ways of getting private yoga clients, and we’ve included our expert advice on how to keep clients, too. 

But before we get started, have you thought about offering nutrition advice alongside your yoga practice? Enquire about our REPs accredited nutrition course and become a qualified nutrition coach! Or, download our free online course prospectus to check out the range of courses that we offer here at OriGym.

Also feel free to download your expert guide on "What Makes A Good Yoga Teacher" below:

Getting Private Yoga Clients: 11 Tips

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So you’ve already done your research into how to become a yoga instructor, or maybe you’ve been working as a yoga teacher for a while, but what now?

Starting your own business and offering private classes is a super exciting step towards a successful career.

But, you won’t get very far without students!

If you’re stuck on where to start when it comes to finding those students, there’s no need to stress because we’ve got your back.

Whether you’re a yoga instructor wondering how to get students for 1-1 yoga sessions, or you’re making the move from employment to teaching your very own private yoga classes, below are all of the best ways to get more private clients.

Here they are!

#1 Get Your Name Out There

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This might seem like an obvious answer to some people, but we can’t stress enough just how important it is to get your name out there in the local community!

When it comes to getting private yoga clients, you’ll need people to know your name (or your business name), a bit about the services you offer, as well as where to find you.

But how can you make this happen? A little further on, we’ve discussed the importance of marketing and how to use social media to generate brand awareness. 

But for now, if you want to know to get more students to your yoga class, here are some things you can do to get the word out there about you and your business:

  • Offer inductions or consultation sessions to prospective students
  • If you already hold a group class, mention your 1-1 sessions to the group
  • Interact with fellow Yogis and talk about your business and its benefits!
  • Hand out business cards!

 

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#2 Using Business Cards

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There’s no doubt that social media is a brilliant marketing tool, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget about this classic way of getting the word out of there about your business!

Business cards are relatively easy to design, plus they’re pretty cheap to get printed.

A good business card should cover all of the key information about your business, including:

  • Your business name
  • The services you offer (and your business niche if you have one!)
  • The business address
  • Contact information including an email address and phone number
  • Social media handles

You can hand over a business card to any potential students so even if you only have a quick exchange, they still have all of the important information about your business.

You can even approach friends and fellow industry professionals and ask them to hand out your business card to anybody that they think could benefit from your teaching, or hand out some extra business cards to your existing clients to share them within their network. 

Want to know more about designing yoga business cards and the best way to use them? You can find the full OriGym guide to yoga business cards here.

#3  Have A Good Attitude

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Before we continue with some other ways of getting new private yoga clients, we just had to make this point.

Regardless of which of our tips that you choose to take on board, one thing that is truly important in attracting new clients, is having a good attitude.

If you want to make it as a private yoga instructor, you’ll need to present yourself as an approachable person with an overall positive attitude.

It makes perfect sense when you think about it. 

Just imagine you were enquiring with a personal trainer, and when you spoke to them they were rude or just an unpleasant person to be around, who would you then go on to book a session with them?

We can almost guarantee that your answer to that is a big no!

And the same goes for private yoga teachers.

If you want students to part with their hard-earned wages to pay for one of your classes, you’ll need to show that you’re a positive person, a good yoga teacher, and someone who is generally pleasant to be around!

Failing to do that, or worse, coming across as uninterested, rude, or even lazy, is a sure-fire way to put off prospective students!

Are you serious about being the best private yoga teacher about? Check out our tips for professional developement for fitness professionals and see how can push your career even further!

#4 Build Rapport

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When you’re trying to get new private yoga clients onboard your business, you are essentially trying to get students to buy time with you!

So just like you need a good attitude, if you want to know how to get more students to yoga class, you should know that building rapport with your potential students is really important.

Building rapport will allow you to develop a relationship where you understand what the student would want from a class, allowing you to have a relaxed and friendly conversation about your business, rather than approaching them with a straight sales pitch.

Unsure on how to build rapport with potential students? Here are some of our tried and tested ways!

To build rapport, both individuals need to be able to relate to each other, which is why talking about one of the following topics is the best way to start off a conversation:

  • Weather
  • Time of day
  • Day of the week 

Each of these topics are foolproof when it comes to starting up a conversation because they are things that we all experience all day, every day.

Say it’s a sunny summer day, something as simple as ‘It’s so nice out there, I’m so glad we finally have some good weather’ has nothing to do with yoga, but it’s something that you can both relate to, making the student feel like you have something in common!

This method works even when you aren’t in a face to face environment too because regardless of where we are in the world, we all experience those three things highlighted above.

You could be on opposite ends of the country but by saying ‘thank god it’s Friday!’ you have automatically identified something that the student can relate to you about.

This allows for a much more natural conversation and avoids coming across like a salesperson, which a lot of potential students may be put off by.

From there, you can move the conversation towards the pros and cons of yoga, without instantly plugging your business.

If you get to know a little bit about the student, how often they attend yoga classes, and what their goals are, you can offer them some general advice to plant the idea in their head that you could help them to get to where they want to be.

Over time you could talk more in detail about your services, and because you have built that mutual relationship they will be more willing to engage in a conversation about private classes and more likely to become a new student!

#5 Get To Know Other Employees 

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Whether you work or run classes in a studio alongside your private lessons, or you work completely solo, getting to know other yoga professionals is still a great idea!

Every studio or venue will have a team of employees, all of whom have different roles to play and different relationships with the students.

Although they don’t teach, receptionists still have regular engagements with the students and they are typically the person that students, clients, or guests will go to if they have any questions or queries.

For that reason, if you’re working at a studio, getting to know the receptionist in the studio you work at is just as important as networking with the other instructors.

Say there is a student that comes to regular group classes, but they want to up their game and take up 1-1 sessions. If they like that studio, chances are that they will ask a member of staff about whether the venue offers private yoga lessons.

Often, this will be the receptionist as they are typically the first and last person they see at the venue, and often the ‘face’ that they associate with the venue.  

You want to make sure that students do ask about private lessons, that the receptionist is not only aware that you offer private lessons, but that they can talk about you and your business in a positive light.

#6 Get To Know Other Professionals 

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If you want to know how to get more private yoga clients but you don’t work for a studio, then asking staff to promote another yoga business within their venue might not be the best idea. 

But, you can still use the same principles and apply them elsewhere!

In order to do this, all you need to do is identify some businesses that are similar to yours but aren’t direct competitors.

For example, this could be a local gym or personal training studio that doesn’t offer yoga services, but still has access to the exact demographic that your business wants to attract.

You could even approach owners or store managers in local retails stores, like somewhere that sells nutrition and health foods, or yoga kits!

You can visit their venue in person, or use the power of social media to reach out and start a professional relationship. 

LinkedIn in particular is a brilliant platform for networking and finding new connections, but being supportive of other businesses on facebook and Instagram is a good way to develop these relationships too.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, attending seminars and fitness conventions is another great way to get to know like minded people!

Basically, you should have a think about any place or business with a similar target audience to yours, and get to know the professionals that work for those businesses.

Once you have developed some kind of professional relationship, you can even take in a couple of your business cards and ask if you can leave them by the till or reception desk.

#7 Find A Niche and Become An Expert

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If you’re serious about having a successful career teaching private yoga clients, then you need to choose a niche for your business.

Having a niche is the best way to clearly communicate what your business is about, plus it allows you to market yourself as an expert in one particular area of yoga.

Becoming an expert in a particular area of yoga is the best way to stand out from your competitors and justify charging higher prices.

So, how can you decide on a niche?

It’s all well and good if you want to be an expert in say prenatal yoga, but if there are already a number of instructors offering that same service in your area, it's probably best to do some research and find an untapped market!

Your niche could be anything from a specific age, gender, or level of affluence, to something more specific such as becoming a Bikram yoga instructor or specialising in lower back pain.

Once you’ve decided on a niche, you should think about getting some specific qualifications so that you can prove that you’re an expert. 

Getting a Level 4 certificate in yoga instruction is a brilliant place to start, as most yoga teachers are typically only trained to Level 3 standard.

#8 Write A Business Plan

Even if you don’t think that you need a business plan, say you don’t need a bank loan or an investor, it’s a good idea to write one anyway!

A business plan ties together all of the aspects of your business and gives you something to refer back to, helping you to stay on track by mapping out exactly how you are going to achieve your business goals.

And because a business plan requires that you perform some pretty extensive market research, it’s a brilliant way to determine your position in the market and really understand your competition.

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A good business plan should provide a summary of your business and its goals, as well as:

  • Details of the products & services you will offer
  • Market research
  • Marketing & sales strategies
  • Financial summary 

Within the market research and marketing & sales strategy section, you will cover details of how you will market your business, how your competitors go about getting new clients, and how you will sell to students - all of which play an important part in building private yoga clients. 

Basically, by writing up a business plan you are compiling all of the important details of your business and putting them in one place. This can then act as your ‘plan of action’.

Unsure about how to get started with your business plan or how to conduct effective market research? Check out the OriGym ultimate guide to writing a yoga business plan.

#9 Use Social Media

Want to know how to get more private yoga clients using social media? Setting up business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is a no brainer.

Social media is a brilliant marketing tool for pretty much every business, it’s cheap and easy to use, and it can get your message across to 1000s more people than face-to-face marketing techniques. 

Whilst not all of those who see your posts will automatically enquire, improving the awareness of your brand will have plenty of benefits for your business in the long-term.

Creating an effective strategy is the key to using social media as a means of marketing and getting private yoga clients.

Posting occasional promotional images about your business won’t be enough to grow your presence on social media and truly benefit your business on social media.

But fortunately for you, we’re about to share some tips to help you to get more private yoga students from social media.

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First things first is that you need to post often, but you shouldn’t always post promotions. 

Sharing relatable content, fun yoga or fitness memes, and informative infographics alongside advertising your business is the best way to keep your audience engaged.

You should also keep a close eye on what your competition is doing. If there is a private yoga instructor local to you with way more likes, followers, and comments on their Instagram page, find out why that is happening and what you can change to get back on top. 

Are they posting more often? Or do they use different hashtags? Maybe they have recently held a competition and offered prizes in exchange for shares, likes, or follows.

Whatever it is that your competitors are doing, make a note of what they’re doing right and test it out on your own page.

If they aren’t doing competitions, that is something you should consider anyway!

The popularity of social media competitions as part of a marketing strategy is something that has become really popular in the last decade - and for good reason!

In a 2010 study, Hoffman and Fodor discussed the benefits of competitions for Gretsch Guitars, explaining:

“By soliciting participation from both musicians and their fans, Gretsch engaged its target customer and raised awareness of the brand more broadly.” 

Those benefits are still seen by big and small businesses today, and because they are driven by users sharing the content (rather than the business paying to promote a post) the ROI for followers, engagement, and enquiries is huge!

If you really want to reap the rewards of a good social media competition, reach out to the professionals and fellow employees that we discussed a little earlier and ask if they would like to collaborate for a competition!

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To get ahead of the game, using the right hashtags is really important - especially on Instagram and Twitter.

Hashtags allow you to grow your social media presence and they can really improve engagement with your posts. Want to know how to find the best hashtags for your business? You can find our guide to using yoga hashtags here.

Another thing to remember that whilst Instagram is predominantly image-based, Facebook allows for a lot more text, and twitter is best for shorter exchanges.

Basically, what works best on one platform won’t always work on another, so there is no one size fits all solution for social media marketing.

If you want to succeed on all social platforms, you need to bear in mind that what you post on the likes of LinkedIn should be a lot more professional than the kind of content you share on Twitter or Instagram. 

Want to know more about marketing? Our latest blog post covers all of the best strategies for marketing your yoga business and getting more students.

# 10 Use Reciprocal Marketing

Whilst networking with other yoga instructors and those in similar professions can help to get the word out there about your business, don’t forget about your other connections - your students!

If you already have a handful of private students, then you have a network of people right under your nose!

Reciprocal marketing or ‘refer a friend schemes’ are an awesome way to expand your client base because they’re simple, low cost, and they work!

The chances are that your current students have some like-minded friends, perhaps they attend group classes or they just enjoy fitness in general. 

These people may have never considered getting private yoga lessons, but once they hear about it from their peers, they might start to consider it!

People trust their peers much more than what they see online or hear from a brand directly, so the enquiries that you do get from this scheme, will be much stronger and significantly more likely to turn into sales.

Berman (2016) highlighted some major benefits of reciprocal marketing, stating:

“Major advantages of referral marketing programs as compared with traditional marketing programs include greater credibility of friend/family member recommendations over paid advertisements, access to new customers that traditional marketing programs may not reach, and better matching of referred customers’ needs to a good or service.“

In order to see these benefits, the best thing to do is provide your existing students with some kind of incentive to talk to their friends and family about your business.

That could be something as simple as a discounted or free private lesson for every new student that signs up.

#11 Always Follow Up

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One mistake that happens time and time again, is that instructors do everything right when it comes to generating enquiries, and don’t get round to dealing with them all!

This is a huge mistake!

For a lot of people, making the commitment of booking the first session is the most difficult step in pursuing a new hobby or setting a new goal. 

They’ve expressed an interest in your business by making an enquiry, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t get distracted or forget all about their desire to start practicing yoga! 

To avoid losing out on potential customers, you need to be the one to make things happen, so following up on enquiries is really important!

It can be a little daunting to reach out to a contact, most people worry that they’re annoying the student. But, this is a really popular sales technique for one particular reason - it works!

And after all these people have made the action of inquiring about your business, so you can rest assured that they’re at least interested in what you have to say!

Whether you choose to call, text, or email, the key to a good follow up is avoiding a hard-sell and approaching the situation as if you’re checking in with a friend.

Asking how they are doing, how their practice is going, and what their goals are, can all give the student a gentle reminder about their enquiry without coming across like a cold caller.

If you’ve followed some of our earlier tips for getting private yoga students, including having a good attitude and building rapport, there will already be some kind of trust between yourself and the student, which will help this conversation to feel a lot more natural, and therefore, successful!

How To Get More Yoga Students: What Else Can I Do?

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As well as some of the tips above, there are plenty of other ways of marketing your business in general which will ultimately help you to get more private yoga clients!

In the long-term, developing a website and starting a yoga blog is one way that can really help to build your brand, which will ultimately help you to get more enquiries.

If you want to start to see the benefits of blogging for your yoga business, then find out how to start a successful fitness blog here.

Outside of marketing, don’t forget the best way to build a good reputation and have people wanting to come to you for private yoga lessons, is to be good at what you do!

Want to know how you can be the best in the business? Do some research into what makes a good yoga teacher for some inspiration!

Keeping Private Yoga Clients: Top Tips For Client Retention 

Now that we’ve covered how to get private yoga clients, we wanted to quickly cover one topic that is often overlooked - client retention!

Getting new students can be really hard work, so keeping those students on board is the best way to ensure that your business runs smoothly.

To avoid always the struggle of always having to sell to new students, here’s what you need to do!

#1 Use Packages

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One of the biggest mistakes that private teachers make is selling ‘blocks’ of sessions.

All too often once a student has used up all of the sessions that they bought in bulk, they take a break from their practice or disappear altogether.

This will leave you down on work for an uncertain amount of time, creating a gap in your income whilst the student thinks about whether they want to buy another block of sessions.

This is the exact opposite of what you want, not only because it leaves you in an uncertain position financially, but because it will almost always result in you having to resell all over again, wasting time that you could have used more productively. 

The best way to avoid this is to use a monthly payment structure, similar to the way a gym membership works.

You would charge a fixed monthly fee for a set number of sessions, for example, 2 sessions every week, or 8 sessions over the course of 1 month.

Charging a rolling monthly fee means that rather than having to resell your services to clients every time they ‘run out’ of paid sessions, their payment automatically comes out of their account every month.

The number one benefit of this pricing structure is that if your student doesn’t want to continue with their private classes anymore, they will have to talk to you and actively have to cancel their membership.

This gives you the chance to remind them of their goals, and why they started in the first place, which will hopefully result in them deciding to stick with their sessions!

#2 Keep Your Classes Fun!

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If you want your students to stick around, you’ll need to do everything you can to ensure that your private sessions are not only beneficial, but enjoyable, too!

Once your students get bored with your sessions, it will only be a matter of time before they find another instructor or give up altogether. 

In our experience, we’ve found that planning ahead is the best way to prevent you from running a boring 1-1 class.

We all have our favourite poses that we love to do, but that doesn’t mean our students want to do those same poses in every session. 

Having a plan in place prior to the session ensures a varied class, plus it helps the session to run more smoothly overall!

Some other ways to keep 1-1 classes fun include regularly updating your playlist, and even asking the student for song suggestions so that you can make a class around their favorite picks.

You should also ensure that you actively stay up-to-date with and try out the latest trends in the industry, which means keeping up your research and then bringing those new postures to your private students first!

It is a little bit more tricky to keep 1-1 classes as enjoyable as group practice, but it’s by no means impossible! If you feel that your student is starting to find 1-1 sessions mundane, get involved with some practice yourself or even try out some of these brilliant yoga poses for 2!

#3 Track Progress & Focus On The Future

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One way of keeping students coming back to their private yoga sessions is to constantly remind them of how much progress they’re making and keep some of their attention on the future!

A common reason that students start to lose interest in their sessions is that they lose sight of why they started in the first place!

If the student can’t see any benefit of coming to private classes, then soon enough they’ll give up and take their custom elsewhere.

Because changes to flexibility, strength, and balance, happen gradually over time, it can be hard to see any real change in ourselves. 

But, when you look back at old pictures or think back to a time where there was a certain pose that you just couldn’t hold, you suddenly remember just how far you’ve come!

You want to ensure that your clients never question how far they’ve come, so keeping track of progress is a brilliant way to show your students that there are significant benefits to them keeping up their practice.

When you combine this with some focus on the future with words of encouragement like ‘you’ll have that pose down by next week’, you’re showing your student exactly why they signed up in the first place and why they should want to continue on this journey!

Before You Go!

That concludes our advice on how to get more private yoga clients! We really hope that we've helped you to get a better idea of how to get new clients so that you can really build your yoga business.

Whilst you're here, why not add to the services that you can offer your clients and check out our range of personal trainer courses.

Or, click here to download our course prospectus and find about our other health and fitness qualifications.

 

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Written by Abbie Watkins

Fitness Content Executive, OriGym

Join Abbie on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Holding an MA Marketing Communications and Branding as well as a BSc Psychology from the University of Liverpool, Abbie’s experience encompasses the retail, hospitality and fitness industries. Since joining OriGym, she has become a qualified Personal Trainer and gone on to complete a specialist qualification in advanced Sports Nutrition. Abbie’s main focuses cover staying up to speed with YouTube fitness influencers, identifying successful and innovative content formats. She has contributed to various publications, including the Daily Express. Beyond OriGym, she describes herself as a ‘work-hard, play-hard’ type going on scenic runs and upbeat exercise classes, and often found on the front row of a Saturday morning spin class. 

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