Conversation with Allison Rissel
“I really encourage people to run your own events. It’s the best way to build your authority and connect with others. It’s a powerful way to grow your audience.”
— Allison Rissel
Have you ever thought about hosting a special event as a yoga teacher?
Whether it’s a workshop, a teacher training, a retreat or something completely different, the ideas are endless.
I know that sometimes stepping out of the “group class” comfort zone can be a bit scary. And that’s why I wanted to bring on a guest who’s run many different events as a yoga teacher and now actually helps yoga teachers run special events too.
Allison Rissel helps yoga teachers stand out and feel confident so they can create classes, workshops and events that people tell their friends about. She is the founder of the Yoga Teacher Conf — a conference that provides affordable continuing education, community support and connection to yoga teachers around the globe.
And on that note, you can sign up for this year’s Yoga Teacher Conf now! Go to https://yogateacherconf.com/ to get all the details and sign up. I’m actually teaching at the event so I would love to see you there.
Let’s jump in and learn all about how hosting events can easily help you grow your yoga business!
What is a yoga event?
“I really think that events are what people are looking for. We are all looking for connection with others.” — Allison Rissel
A yoga event could be anything a teacher is running with a specific beginning and end date.
It could be any of the following:
- Free challenge
- Teacher training
- Topical series
You get the idea…an event can be anything special (whether it’s virtual or in-person) that helps you grow your business!
Why should you run your own yoga event?
“I really encourage people to run your own events. It’s the best way to build your authority and connect with others. It’s a powerful way to grow your audience.” — Allison Rissel
1. Running an event makes you the top authority about the topic
Events really make you seem like the expert in your field. Even running a challenge can establish you as an authority. For example, if you run a 5-day challenge “Yoga for Low Back Pain,” that’s solving someone’s problem. The people that sign up will see you as the expert.
2. Events are a great opportunity to create excitement and momentum!
“What I really love about events is the energy! It’s a great opportunity to get people really amped up about something.” — Allison Rissel
3. Events are a great way to connect with others
People are looking for experiences and connection. Workshops and events really allow you to create these experiences, whether they are online or in-person.
4. There’s a beginning and end date
Once the event is over, it’s over! You can work hard on planning the event, marketing it, and hosting it, and then after you finish the event, you’re completely done and you can rest. Having an end date also allows you to take a moment to ask yourself what worked, what didn’t work, and what you want to do differently next time.
5. You can explore a niche
An event or workshop is a wonderful way try out a niche without being tied down to it. If you want to niche down but you are nervous about it, try hosting a workshop or event that’s related to your niche first. This allows you to test out your potential niche.
Online yoga events vs. virtual yoga events
“As far as delivery, content, and a lot of my marketing goes — online and virtual are really really similar. You’re going to make the same flyers. You’re going to make the same Facebook posts. You’re going to teach the same thing.” — Allison Rissel
If you are nervous about taking your yoga event online, don’t be. Online and virtual yoga events are incredibly similar, both when it comes to marketing AND when it comes to teaching the content.
When it comes to hosting the event, there is usually a little more work that goes into the back end. For example, if your event is online, you’ll most likely need to send out a meeting link, record the event, and send an email after the event with a link to the replay.
Other than that, it is basically the same! If you have been wanting to move one of your in-person events online, then I want to encourage you to try. You can do it!
Filling your yoga event
“I would rather have a smaller event with ten really great clients. The work load is a little less, I don’t need a huge team helping me, and I can still grow my business and make a big impact with my community.” — Allison Rissel
We can all fall in to the trap of thinking we need more people: More people to sign up for our workshop, more students. But when it comes down to it, you might not need as many people as you think.
What is the actual number of students you need so you can pay yourself?
Here’s an example: Say your hourly rate is $100 and you have a two hour workshop. In order to make $200, you only need 4 people to sign up! Things get really easy when you start to break it down from a math perspective. If you bring in 5–10 people, you will make more than your hourly rate. You’re paid for your time, you’ve impacted your student’s lives in a real way, and you didn’t necessarily need to spend a ton of money on Facebook Ads or bringing a team into the picture to make that happen.
Steps to running your yoga event
“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. The first time you run your workshop or event, you’re going to have to put in a little leg work. The next time you run it, it’s easier. It gets easier every time.” — Allison Rissel
1. Brainstorm what you want to teach.
Start with the problem your student is having. What are they struggling with? Then, consider what your students really like. Find some kind of niche for you to try on. Get specific and start crafting a general outline of your event/workshop from there.
2. Market it first!
Make the landing page. Get your payment system set up. Tell people about your event, and THEN start creating the content. Don’t create all of the content first. It seems backwards but I promise you that’s the best way to do it. Test out the idea before you do all of the work!
Now, how do you market your event? (It’s a lot less complicated than you may think!)
- Just ask. Send people personal messages. Send texts if that’s how you typically communicate with your students. Direct messages make people feel special. It’s almost like getting a letter in the mail. You can also use Loom, a service that allows you to send quick personalized video messages.
- Focus on email. Our brains tell us to focus on social media before email, but in reality, you want to spend more time on your email list. Social media is great for connecting, nurturing, and touching base in-between emails. But email is really where it’s at!
- Other things to try: Create a flyer (use copy that addresses your audience’s pain point). Put the workshop information up on your website (if you don’t have a website, check out Offering Tree — you can have a website up and running in less than an hour). Create a Facebook event and invite all of your friends. Develop content around that workshop topic and mention your workshop within the content.
3. After it’s over, check in.
When you finish your event, take a moment to sit with the experience. Ask yourself: What worked? What didn’t work? What do you want to do differently next time?
Also, make sure you have saved all of your event content and marketing material. Stay organized. Put everything into Google Docs (or whatever system you use) so you can run the workshop again later. Next time you run the event, it will be so much easier because you’ve already done a lot of the legwork!
Your next step
I’m just dying to know — how many ideas for events do you have now? I bet there are so many things swirling in your mind and I love that.
Your next step is to choose just ONE and then get after it. Make a list of the things you need to do to make it happen and then take one step at a time. I can’t wait to hear about your event!
And don’t forget — if you’re looking for more continuing education, check out Yoga Teacher Conf at https://yogateacherconf.com/ I’ll be there and I can’t wait to see you virtually too!
Until next time give yourself permission to host a fun yoga event and grace along the way.
Allison helps yoga teachers stand out and feel confident so they can create classes, workshops and events that people tell their friends about. She is the founder of the Yoga Teacher Conf — a conference that provides affordable continuing education, community support and connection to yoga teachers around the globe.
At the Yoga Teacher Conf, you will find a community of yoga teachers that will help you improve your skills and also connect you with growth opportunities. You will learn the skills you need to confidently stand out as a yoga teacher and create your own yoga business so you can help more people through yoga. Allison is an extroverted optimist and she loves hiking, skiing, and connecting in nature with her husband, Sean.
Learn more about The Yoga Teacher Conf: https://yogateacherconf.com/
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.