How to grow your yoga business through guest posting and podcasting
Conversation with Nyk Danu
“If you’re speaking in your true voice and from your heart, and you’ve got the right place you’re submitting it to, I don’t see how you couldn’t get published.”
— Nyk Danu
So you’re looking for more students, are you?
Well, you’re not alone because this is definitely what I get questions about all the time. Gaining new students, new followers, or new subscribers is something that comes up often because that’s how we think our business will grow.
My guest today, Nyk Danu, is a student of mine, a yoga therapist, a teacher trainer and a business mentor for yoga teachers. She lives in Victoria on Vancouver island, where she teaches Yoga to MiFits: The Underdogs, Rebels, Punx, Introverts, Geeks and Bookworms.
And I just love her strong niche and you’ll hear more about that in this episode because she didn’t always know her niche.
She truly has impressed me with how she has gained exposure for her business by using other audiences. Like her being on my podcast: She’s been a guest already once to talk about how to run registered sessions in episode #33.
But I had to have her back. Because her writing has been published online via Elephant Journal, Shut up and Yoga, The Yoga and Body Image Coalition and more. She has also been featured locally in Yam Magazine.
It’s been so fun to see Nyk post inside the Thrive community and say “my article was published” or “I was just interviewed on another podcast”.
She does a fantastic job of finding the optimal places to pitch her ideas that connect with her niche. And I’m so glad she was willing to come onto the podcast today to share this with you. You’re going to love her approach to this process — and she shares lots of great ideas for you, too!
Get ready to take notes (and action)!
Niching down in your yoga business
Declaring a niche can feel like a big, scary step. Niching down is a process and it takes awhile.
“It’s something I wish I would have done right out of the gate, because I think it would have grown my classes so much faster.” — Nyk Danu
When I talk about niching, sometimes my students go straight to think about demographics rather than a problem to solve. However, Nyk takes her niche a step past the typical age or gender. She teaches therapeutic “Yoga for Misfits”, specifically yoga for back pain.
If you’re struggling with niching, know that it’s a process. Just take the first step and go from there.
Two ways to begin identifying your niche:
1. Sometimes your niche starts from a place of where you were before you found yoga. Ask yourself: What did I need when I came to yoga? What did yoga do for me?
“That’s the feedback I always get. When people read my homepage or posters, they feel like I’m talking directly to them. For me, it’s easier to do that, because I’m actually talking to myself before I found yoga.” — Nyk Danu
2. Ask your students how they found you and what they enjoy most about your classes. Listen closely to the feedback and see if there are themes that come up regularly.
How to find new yoga students and extend your reach
Be a guest content creator by “borrowing” other people’s audiences.
First of all, an important reminder: Don’t forget to focus on your current students and the people who are already in your audience. Remember that you worked hard to get the people into your bubble right now, and taking care of them will help you extend your reach.
“The number one way of attracting new clients is referrals. And the only way you’re going to get referrals is if you’re treating the students you have right now really well, then of course they are going to be a raving fan and tell everyone they know about you.” — Nyk Danu
We have to remember to serve the heck out of the students that we have right now before we work on attracting more. Even as you work on extending your reach, still, the majority of your energy and focus should be right there with your current students.
Now, when it comes to extending your reach by “borrowing” other people’s audiences, the options are seemingly endless!
Ideas on where to be a guest content creator:
- Guest blogging
- Being a podcast guest
- Newsletter content for other local (or online) businesses
- Local Facebook group
- Local printed newsletters
- Know your niche and then ask “where are they hanging out in-person or online?” and ask those places
Don’t let anything stop you!
Nyk has a learning disability called dysgraphia, which can make writing difficult. Spelling is especially challenging for dysgraphia. Because of this, she initially thought she shouldn’t be writing guest posts and she initially went with audio. Then she took a class and gained confidence when she realized she could use tools to help and even have someone edit her work.
Navigating your mindset when it comes to this is so important. If you find yourself thinking “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good enough,” or “I can’t write,” do your best to catch these stories you have in your mind about your abilities.
You can also utilize online resources like Grammarly and/or have a friend edit your writing to clean it up a bit.
Finally, remember that practice will help you, but you have to get started!
Why being a guest helps your yoga business
The “why” behind putting time and energy into “borrowing” someone else’s audience.
1. It can be free, targeted marketing.
“It costs you your time only. And then it’s on the interwebs forever!” — Nyk Danu
2. It expands your reach by growing your email list and social media following.
“You’re going to reach people that you might not have met otherwise, whether that’s in person or online.” — Nyk Danu
3. It improves your SEO rankings.
“If you’re smart and strategic, then linking your website so another person’s website improves your SEO.” — Nyk Danu
4. It shines a light on your expertise.
“It shines a lot on the viewpoint you already have within you. You’re already helping people. You’re just now saying ‘hey, I do this thing!’” — Nyk Danu
A lot of time we can get in our own way because we think “do I know enough?” And the answer is yes you do! If you know 5% more than someone else, you can help them.
Be strategic about where you’re a guest
“I often see yoga teachers post questions like ‘How do I get my work published on mindbodygreen? How do I get my work published on Yoga Journal?’” — Nyk Danu
Don’t focus only on the big names! The big publications, the big podcasts. Instead, start small. Small is more strategic. You can be published in smaller ways and have much bigger impact.
“Yes, you can get your work published on a huge platform that reaches a big, general audience. But that’s not nearly as powerful as you reaching out to your chiropractor and saying ‘hey, do you need content for your newsletter?’” — Nyk Danu Focus on finding the people who need to hear what you have to say, not just the general public. If you can go a little smaller, and reach a more niched, targeted audience instead, it’s likely they will need exactly what you’re offering.
This all comes down to niching. If you know clearly who you’re meant to serve, then you have to find out where they are hanging out. Be very intentional about your audience and what you’re writing.
If you don’t know your niche or if you have an opportunity to be a guest somewhere, take the opportunity, but don’t expect big numbers right away.
Overall, think small and specific but impactful. Quality over quantity. It can waste your time if you focus on quantity.
‘But…what do I write?’
If you know your niche, then you know their questions — and that’s what you write about!
If you don’t know your niche yet, that’s okay! Just pick a topic, take a step, and keep moving forward. Things will become clearer in time.
Things to consider for content ideas:
- What do students ask you after class?
- What common questions come up?
- What do students tell you about your class — and what makes it different from other classes?
- Share part of your story (if it relates to who you want to serve). What brought you to yoga?
- Opinion pieces: What’s your point of view? Do you have a strong opinion on something? What are you passionate about?
- Student stories and transformation
- Bust some yoga myths! Example: “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible!”
- How-to pieces
Quick writing tips:
- Make sure you’re using your own voice. The piece should read like you’re speaking directly to someone. If it sounds too formal and doesn’t sound like you, then it won’t work. You could even start by recording a voice memo and then transcribing it.
- Don’t forget — you can repurpose your content, too! You’ve probably already written something you could tweak, edit, or customize for a new specific project. Look at your past content first.
- Take quick notes whenever ideas come to you. You can use the Notes app on your phone, a Google doc, paper and pen, or whatever works best for you. Brainstorm and get the ideas down when come to you. Then when you have the time to sit down and write, you’ll have a list of ideas ready for you.
How to ‘make the ask’ to be a guest
Tips on putting yourself out there for both small businesses and larger online publications.
Find small businesses that work with your niche as well. For example, if your niche is back pain, you could approach a local chiropractor. If your niche is pelvic health, you could approach a pelvic health PT. Ask them if they need free content for their newsletter or blog.
“Situations like this are far more powerful at expanding your reach. The audience is smaller but super specific.” — Nyk Danu
This feels a little safer than submitting to a publication with thousands of articles. It’s a great way to take a step and gain confidence. This can then grow and you can even provide more content over time.
As for the online publications, look on their website for submission guidelines. Read the parameters. For example, for some of them, you can’t repurpose the content. Once it’s on their platform, you can’t put it on your blog.
“I think you’ll be surprised at how much success you’ll have. The worst that can happen is that they say ‘it’s not for us.’ Well, you’ve written a great piece so just submit it somewhere else. It’s not going to be wasted.” — Nyk Danu
Your next step
Your next step is to write. If you know the article that you want to write, write it today. Just go for it! And if you’re not sure what you’d like to write, use one of Nyk’s ideas: your story, how-to, or busting a yoga myth. Pick one and write one.
Then it’s time to pitch that idea to someone. Maybe it’s a local chiropractor or coffee shop, maybe it’s your dentist or maybe it’s an online publication. It doesn’t matter. Start with writing, then pitch the idea and go for it.
You can’t get published or borrow someone else’s audience if you don’t start. Like the saying goes — “the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago” — well, the best time to share a story was yesterday, but the next best time is today. So get after it my friend!
Until next time, give yourself permission to borrow other people’s audiences and grace along the way.
Nyk Danu (C-IATY, CYA-ERYT 550) is a certified Yoga therapist, Yin Yoga Teacher Trainer and Yoga Business Mentor. She lives in the enchanted city of Victoria on magical Vancouver island, where she teaches Yoga to MiFits: Alternative folks who are not human pretzels. The Underdogs, Rebels, Punx, Introverts, Geeks and Bookworms. Nyk is frequently interviewed on podcasts where she loves to talk about the Business of Yoga and all things Yin Yoga. Her writing has been published online via Elephant Journal, Shut up and Yoga, The Yoga and Body Image Coalition and more. She has also been featured locally in Yam Magazine. When Nyk is not teaching Yoga, You’ll find her expanding her personal tattoo collection, walking by the ocean, or curled up at home watching Star Trek or immersed in a book.
- Website: https://nykdanu.com/teachers/
- Instagram: @nykdanuyoga
- From Subbing to Doubling her Income with Nyk Danu: Episode #33
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 helping yoga teachers find the tools and the confidence within themselves to build the yoga business of their dreams. 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.