Conversation with Danait Berhe
“Neither choice is better than the other. There is no right decision. It truly is how you like to serve, how you want to make your impact, and what feels good to you in a way that will allow you to show up consistently.”
— Danait Berhe
Things change quickly when you’re running your own business and it’s easy to feel scattered.
One thing that will help you feel less scattered is to choose a business model, or a business path that’s best for you.
In this conversation, Danait Berhe walks us through the different paths you can take so that you can make your choice and move forward with clarity.
I first met Danait last year and I had her on the podcast to talk about branding. Well, after that conversation you better believe it was time for me to hire her. I had done all the DIY’ing I could do over the course of building my business for 3 years, and so I handed the keys over to Danait and her team and it was a fantastic experience!
Us working together then turned into a wonderful friendship. We now talk on Voxer almost every day and she has helped me navigate some pretty incredible things in my business. She asks me questions that make me think through decisions even more than I already do and I’m so grateful for this.
You’re about to hear one of these conversations.
I was having a dilemma of what path to take in my business and her response to me was so impactful. She said “Amanda, there are two paths here and while you can have both eventually, you can’t have them both at the same time. So tell me which feels better for you.”
She went on to explain the two paths — and I immediately knew the answer.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” path, you just have to choose.
And it’s my hope that after listening to this conversation you’re able to choose your path, whether that happens today or six months from now. I hope you’re able to choose because once you do, things get so much easier. Your path is more clear.
(And if you don’t have a few biz-besties yet, please find them so you can have friends like this that challenge and celebrate with you!)
Okay, let’s dive in!
The two business models for your yoga business
“Neither one is better than the other. There is no right decision. It truly is how you like to serve, how you want to make your impact, and what feels good to you in a way that will allow you to show up consistently.” — Danait Berhe
- Working one-on-one or with a small group. Private students that you work with individually. Or workshops, class series, or private classes that are smaller in group size where you’re able to get to know each person and give them individualized attention.
- Working one-to-many. Think of having a hundred, a thousand, or more people who you are working with or serving. This is often an online opportunity like a course or a membership where you want to bring more and more people into it. There is no limit or cap to how many people can join. You’re looking for volume.
There’s not one that’s right or wrong. Which one are you being called to?
This can change over time!
For me, if you had asked me this question several years ago, I would have said one to one. I wanted to work one-on-one with people so I could learn everything I could about yoga teachers. I was trying to figure out how to serve. I really like working with a lot of people because my energy supports that. I love when I get lots of questions. I love being around big groups of people. Additionally, I know that’s the business model I want because I want to make my coaching as accessible to as many yoga teachers as possible. The one-to-many model supports that accessibility as opposed to the one-on-one model.
Remember that you can always change your mind later.
“Nothing is set in stone when you’re building your business.” — Danait Berhe
Pricing structure of the two yoga business models
The pricing structure for both of these models are very different. There’s a certain element of figuring out what feels good to you and how you want to show up as well.
- With the smaller groups or one-on-one model, in order for you to meet your revenue goals and for you to be able to sustain your business, the pricing structure is going to be higher. You’re pouring more time and energy in a customized way for each person. There’s more access to you. If you’re charging pennies for one-on-one work with you, it’s not going to be sustainable in the long term. There’s only 24 hours in the day and you can only work with so many people in those hours.
- With the larger groups, you can charge less to be able to serve more people. It’s a more accessible business model because of the way it’s structured. You’re looking more for volume than you are for those one-on-one deep dives.
Again, neither one is wrong. If you feel like you’re making an impact when you get to serve as many people as possible, then that’s great. If you feel like you’re making an impact when you work with a smaller group of personalized
- What feels good to you to charge? What pricing structure feels right?
- Will my market be able to tolerate what I’m trying to charge for this service? Understand the people in your market. If they are not going to be able to pay 10K for a year-long program, then that’s probably not going to work out if those are the people you want to work with.
Remember that you can hit your financial revenue goals in either way!
Consider what feels good when making your decision!
Take a step back and reflect.
Some questions you can ask yourself to get more clarity:
- How are you feeling after teaching a private session?
- How are you feeling after leading a membership community?
- What are you experiencing internally?
- Do you feel energized? Or do you feel drained?
- Do you procrastinate doing certain tasks?
Spend time journaling and noticing what feels good and what doesn’t. Lean into that.
Which one of these choices calls to you TODAY? Not three years from now, but today.
Once you know, you can take steps forward.
Make the transition slowly in your yoga business
“Sometimes when we make these decisions, when we know something is the right move for us, we feel like we need to shut everything down and take a new path. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It can a slow progression.” — Danait Berhe
If you have realized you need to start shifting to a different business model and it feels overwhelming, don’t panic!
You don’t have to immediately stop what you’ve been working on and shift over to the new business model. It can happen as a slow progression.
- What needs to change?
- Are you ready for that change?
Another thing to consider: Having a business built on the one-to-many model does not happen overnight.
If you’re just getting started, you might want to start with the one-to-one model first, grow your audience, learn everything you can about your students, and then slowly transition into the one-to-many model.
Yoga marketing clarity
Once you know you need to make a change, the very first step is to change your marketing. For me, it was taking specific services off of my website. Change your marketing so that so you can start attracting the person you want to bring in.
You CAN do both business models, but you can’t grow them at the same time. Pick one to start with. The two business models require you to show up differently. The marketing required is different. The messaging is different. Who you are talking to is different.
An unexpected bonus you’ll discover by choosing a business model is that you will have much more clarity in your marketing.
“When you market something, you’re putting it out into the world. You are opening yourself up to receiving that back. There’s so much power in doing that because then you allow yourself to get aligned with the things you actually want and with the opportunities that will get you where you want to go.” — Donait Berhe
Your next step
Your next step is to choose a path.
Maybe you knew instantly like I did. Maybe you’re not sure so it’s time to journal and look inward. Whichever way you get there is wonderful. But decide on a path, knowing that the path can definitely change over time. Decide, move forward on that path, and do your best not to look over at the other path to see what other people are doing. That will only distract you from making progress.
Until next time, give yourself permission to choose a path and grace along the way.
Danait Berhe is the founder and lead strategist at The Asmara Agency, an award-winning full service agency that helps female-founded companies craft compelling business, brand, and messaging strategies that position them for maximum impact and profit. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs who want to leave an imprint on the universe do just that by helping them build brands that matter from the inside out. When she’s not nerding out over data and working with her clients, Danait is cuddling with her pup Lula, exploring Buffalo with her husband, and wondering what the appropriate number of times to have pizza and wine on any given week is (the answer is 7).
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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.