Written By: Amanda McKinney *Based on a podcast episode on Marketing Yoga With Confidence
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Vicky Drolet is a yoga teacher who started her business during the pandemic and grew it quickly through just one marketing technique: public relations.
I just love this because I often hear from yoga teachers who are tired of posting on social media or don’t really want to take that route. The best news is that you don’t have to! Like I try and remind you all the time, there are many ways to get to the result of a thriving business. You just have to find what fits best with you.
That’s exactly what Vicky did – and now she’s sharing this process with you! She has even created a template for you in case you want to take her idea of sending press releases too.
Get your notebook ready, and let’s dive in!
One press release resulted in 50 private yoga leads
Vicky sent ONE press release and it led to 50 leads and five new private yoga clients!
Before becoming a yoga teacher, Vicky worked in an office full time. One day, she realized she wasn’t happy anymore and needed to make a change. She decided to launch a private yoga business and leave the corporate world.
Instead of going the usual route of social media marketing and teaching classes in a studio, Vicky decided to try a PR strategy in order to launch and build her private yoga business.
After reaching out to news outlets with her press release, she ended up with 50 leads which resulted in five new private yoga clients for her business!
“If I had waited to be ready, or waited to be confident, then I would never have done it and wouldn’t have gotten the results I had got. I think it’s super important to just try it out and see what happens.” – Vicky Drolet
Press coverage can help you be seen as the authority on a specific topic
If you know your niche, lean into that with the press release. You can choose more specific media news outlets and a more targeted press release. It will help you be seen as an authority in your niche.
But if you don’t know your niche, just start, and see what comes about! You don’t have to have it all figured out.
“Back then I was only just starting and I don’t think I knew who my ideal client was. What I did was just send out my press release to everyone, the media that was more general.” – Vicky Drolet
If you don’t have a niche, blast your press release out to everyone and see what comes through! Once you see who contacts you from your media coverage, it will likely help you figure out who you want to work with.
When to send press releases in your yoga business
Having a special event is such a great way to attract media and get your PR going. An event has the urgency of a date and time. Media could write something before the event as a way to attract people to your event, or they could cover your event at the time it happens.
“If you have an event, I would definitely take that opportunity to reach out to the media, because that’s a specific story. That’s going to attract the media.” – Vicky Drolet
That said, a press release can be sent out anytime, but you do need to have a story to share or something that will create buzz around your business. Ask yourself: What is the story? How is this different? And what is topical?
Presenting your yoga offerings in relation to a popular topic (such as Covid and mindfulness and self-care) can be a great story. Tap into the timeliness. This is the path Vicky chose. She framed her services as a way to take care of yourself during a stressful time without having to leave the house.
Consider what is happening right now around you – and if there is any way you can connect that to your yoga services.
As long as you know what your strengths are and how different you are, you can create a cute story around that, then you can definitely send a press release. – Vicky Drolet
Process for sending a press release to get media coverage for your yoga business
1. Start by researching contacts
You can go on daily show websites, newspaper websites, or radio station websites and find the appropriate person to contact. Copy their email and save it in a list. And just pick a few of these to start with!
“I ended up collecting about 70 emails, but you can start out with 10 or 15. It only took an hour or two.” – Vicky Drolet
2. Send your pitch to news outlets
Vicky has a template you can download to help with creating your press release.
3. Conduct sales calls after the leads come in.
Once you conduct a news interview and you start getting the leads from your interview, then you’ll need to make calls to those leads to see if they are the right fit for working with you. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you!
“I had never done sales for myself and I wanted to do it right. PR is one part of the process, but you definitely have to sell yourself and connect with people to make sure that you’re a good fit.” – Vicky Drolet
Remember – even if the call doesn’t result in a sale, it’s a new connection.
4. Understand that you will hear lots of ‘no’s’ or even nothing – but keep going
Vicky had about a 10% conversation rate (with 5 new private clients from 50 leads), and that’s from one single interview! Remember that everyone’s results will be different. Don’t give up! The right interview could be just around the corner.
“I had to deal with a lot of ‘no’. But a ‘no’ now isn’t a ‘no’ forever.” – Vicky Drolet
Trust in yourself!
The journey isn’t “perfect” or linear for anyone.
“I know how challenging it can be to trust in yourself. There’s a lot of mindset to play around with. One sure thing is that if me, Vicky, this regular person, can do it – then any other yoga teacher can too. You just need a little effort to believe in yourself and what you are doing and it can all happen.” – Vicky Drolet
It can be so hard to market yourself, even if you already know the industry like Vicky did. But I encourage you to try, even if you aren’t feeling confident.
Use your unique skills and past experience to help you. We all have some kind of special advantage and we have to use those advantages (in a positive way), whatever they are.
If you’re not feeling confident, start small. Take some kind of action each day. Focus on simple, daily progress.
“Write one paragraph per day. Put aside the idea that it needs to be perfect. That’s all you need and that’s what will get you to where you want to go.” – Vicky Drolet
Keep going, because it can definitely pay off in the long run.
Your next step
If you’re feeling like you want to take a different approach to marketing, this could be it for you. You heard Vicky say — it’s all about taking small actions that can lead to big things in your business.
That’s your next step for today: I want you to make a list of news outlets in your local area and make a list of the contacts. Then write the press release and send it!
Remember you will likely not hear back or hear ‘no’ a few times before you get the coverage. So keep going!
Until next time, give yourself permission to send an imperfect press release and grace along the way.
About Amanda McKinney:
Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach whose passion is helping yoga teachers find the tools and the confidence within themselves to build a thriving yoga business. She does this through her podcast: Marketing Yoga with Confidence, online courses and membership.