“I had a wide client base so to bring it down to one person was a lot for me, mentally. I didn’t want to say no to anyone so I just played with [this concept] for a little while” — Megan
The concept of a “dream student” is one that I talk about often but it can be really scary. I know that as a yoga teacher you want to help everyone and I know that you can help everyone.
But….if you try and reach and teach everyone today, you will reach no one. It’s impossible to speak directly to everyone. Think about this:
Would you teach the same yoga class to a group of kids that you would to a private client who’s an executive at an international company?
And this is why it’s important to think about who you dream about working with. Once you figure this out, you will realize that by niching down to that specific audience, you will serve your audience more effectively AND your business will serve you too.
How to identify your dream student, Megan-style
When Megan wasn’t sure how to choose just one dream student, she meditated! How great is that? This is a wonderful way to go about this process. Here are some prompts to help you meditate on this idea:
- Who would you love to work with every day and watch their yoga journey?
- Picture that person in your mind and ask yourself “what would she/he like to learn?”, “what type of music would she/he enjoy?”.
- Ask yourself “Who is naturally coming to my classes or private sessions?”
- Ask yourself “What do you want to be known for?” or “What specific offerings are you drawn to right now” (ex: group classes, private sessions, specialty workshops)
Remember, this doesn’t have to be forever, this will evolve over time. Give yourself space and grace in this process. It’s tough to think about narrowing down to focus on one specific student. It will take time and you might have to hear this message over and over again but eventually you will be ready.
“It’s actually still really challenging to go to one person, so I actually have three.” — Megan
If you’re ready to grow your yoga business and you’ve been teaching for a few years, then it’s time to focus in. I promise this will make everything easier because you will be able to create specific yoga offerings for your dream student because they told you they want them!
Once Megan was comfortable with the idea of narrowing her yoga teaching focus, she asked herself a very important question to help with transitioning her yoga business:
Megan first asked herself “Who don’t I want to teach?”
Once she knew and was 100% comfortable with the fact that some people weren’t attracted to her classes, it became more clear who her dream student was. For Megan, it was beginners and students recovering from an injury. Once she realized this information, she then began tailoring classes to this type of person. Then cutting back on the number of places and group classes she was teaching to better fit her dream of working with private clients.
“If I can think about my one-to-three people and what they need, then I can be so much clearer and efficient in what I share.” — Megan
Steps for transitioning from general group yoga classes to specific classes or sessions
Identify who you want to work with / who you don’t want to or aren’t working with
Start telling people! It’s that simple to get the ball rolling on this process. Tell other yoga teachers. Tell your students. Tell anyone you meet when they ask “what do you do?”. This will help people refer your dream student to you!
Identify how you can use your current classes (maybe not all of them but some) to tailor to that specific person or situation (ex: beginners or people with knee injuries)
Begin to tailor as many of your current offerings to that dream student and see how the students respond.
Identify how you can let go of classes that are not helping you grow your new focus. Meaning, do you need to find other classes to pick up instead? Or maybe you want more private yoga sessions, how many group classes could you let go of if you gained 1 private yoga client? Look at this step as a process. This will take time.
Let go of the offerings that aren’t growing your dream yoga business, one thing at a time. Don’t do this all at once. This step is a slow process but worth the work!
Also during this process, know the power and the beauty of referring other yoga teachers! As students reach out to you about things you don’t want to focus on, know other yoga teachers that you can share with that student.
Marketing to your dream student
Once you’ve focused in and identified who you want to work with as a yoga teacher, it’s time to start focusing in on marketing to that person or person experiencing the situation.
One easy way to do this is, once you have your dream student in your mind, write everything to them. Literally!
Write every social media post by pretending you’re sitting across the table from them and talking. Write every email the same way. Write specifically to that person and then remove the name before you post to social media or send the email.
This will dramatically change your business and it makes marketing easier. You’re not writing a post and hoping that someone reads it and likes it. You’re writing to your dream student knowing they will resonate with your message because you know them.
“You have really instilled the love of marketing in me. It’s all human behavior and human relationships.” — Megan
Remember to keep it simple when it comes to your website and email signature. Only list what you want to be known for, not all the certifications you have. You want to be clear and simple.
If you want to be a private yoga teacher, list “private yoga teacher” on your business card, website and email signature. While it’s true you might do more, leave it off of your marketing. Only focus on marketing what you want to be known for and you will grow your student or client base.
“I don’t know where the idea of marketing being sleazy came from. But once I stepped into learning more from you and understanding that it’s really about communicating. Communicating what you offer and who you offer it for or who it may be useful for. Knowing that made it so clear and so simple.” — Megan
Creating offerings for your dream student
Listen to your dream student and they will tell you what they want. As a yoga teacher I know that you listen to your students when they talk to you after class. But what I want you to start doing is listening and interpreting what they are saying to you.
From there, you will create offerings that help your dream student take the next step in their yoga journey.
- You will create the meditation that helps them calm down before a hard conversation.
- You will create the quick flow that helps a really busy person fit yoga into their day.
- You will create the breakdown of how to help someone safely learn to do a handstand.
And you will do this only after you heard your dream student say they wanted it so you will create it with confidence.
Can you imagine knowing that the next time you posted a video to YouTube that you have 10 students you could share it with and they would receive benefit? That’s what can happen when you create something for a dream student.
When you create something for one person, others benefit as well.
Your next step
Follow Megan’s advice and meditate on who your dream student is. Take time to sit and allow someone to come to mind. Then focus on creating a class for that person and see how it feels. Remember that you don’t have to declare a niche forever, you’re just taking one step to see what it feels like to create something for one person.
And if Megan’s story was inspiring to you, then I want you to know that I created my course: 5 Weeks to Confident Yoga Marketing based not only on Megan’s story but also my 70+ other Members! The course is open now and it’s the only way you can get a special invite into the Membership. This is the baseline foundation you need to market your yoga business. It’s the process that will help you have a similar story to Megan and my other members.
Be sure to go to marketingyogawithconfidence.com/course to grab your spot. Doors are closing on Friday, February 14th at 3pm Central Standard Time. If you’re reading in the future, use that link to get on the waitlist for the course. It will be open again later this year.
Until next time, give yourself permission to have a dream student and grace along the way. Talk to you soon!
About Megan Spears
Megan is a private teacher who specializes in teaching beginners and those recovering from an injury. She is also a coffee-loving body nerd who loves to blast NPR in the car. She began by teaching power vinyasa in 2014 and, helped train yoga teachers, and now works exclusively with private clients. She loves to geek out with her students as they learn about their movement patterns and gather their favorite meditation practices.
- Megan’s website: https://www.meganspearsyoga.com/
- Megan’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganspearsyoga/
- Megan’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meganspearsyoga
- Megan’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5kgKSGfauPCM7Cvg_i-7NQ
For more stories like this, listen to the Marketing Yoga with Confidence Podcast.
About Amanda McKinney (Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers)
Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach with a passion for empowering yoga teachers to earn more money doing what they love. She does this through her podcast: Marketing Yoga With Confidence and Online Offerings. All of which focuses on building confidence and community with an extra dose of encouragement every step of the way.