If you have looked at your yoga income recently and wondered how to make it more sustainable, you are not alone. Even though the yoga industry has continued to grow year on year (including during the pandemic) it can sometimes feel like the market is saturated, and offering what you have cultivated out into the world might feel like a tiny drop in the ocean. We hear you, and we see you.
Add that to the fact that yoga teachers are often asked to deliver services for a reduced rate (or even for free) and it can be challenging to cut a profit from yoga teaching alone. And if you are looking to boost your income, it stands to reason that teaching for free isn’t going to help in the long term.
The pandemic has changed the world of yoga and created different challenges, depending on what is happening in your area, but yoga continues to grow in popularity and is arguably more relevant, and more essential, than ever.
The answer to your yoga income boost will involve some diversification, hard work, and a whole lot of courage. You will also need to know very clearly what your business is, who it serves and how you want to take it forward.
Let’s take a look at some potential income boosters:
1. Define – or Refine – Your Niche
You will hear this a lot in the world of entrepreneurs (particularly in the wellness industry) but delving into a niche is a strategy that works well. Knowing what you are good at, and working within that part of your business, is what will make you stand out from the competition, both locally and online.
You can find lots of information on what or how to niche down, including our earlier blog post on it here and although working in a niche is not for everyone, it could be an important step in defining your business. If you become an expert in one element, or even several elements, of yoga, then you can carve out a specific spot and become known for that, and this is what will help you stand apart and grow, even when the yoga market feels saturated.
2. Be Online
An online presence is an important part of setting your business up for success. Not only will all of your competitors be online, but the internet is often the first place potential clients will look for a service, or for reviews on your business.
Being online doesn’t have to be stressful and you don’t need a Masters Degree in tech to set up a beautiful website. Of course, we need to mention our OfferingTree services for yoga teachers, providing an all-in-one yoga software that takes care of the tech side for you. But there are lots of ways to be online, lots of website builders and social media platforms and you need to choose which works best for you.
The key thing to being online is to be consistent and be present. Setting up a website or a few social media platforms is a work in progress of updating, communicating and keeping content current, so when you do develop your online space, make sure you have time to hang out there and create it as a space that you (and your followers) want to hang out.
3. Connect with Other Instructors and Studios
Building connections with other local yoga studios or yoga teachers that are technically your competition might seem contradictory but those connections, support and mutual referrals are what can help you start out on your journey, and grow your business.
If you have a favorite studio, speak to the teachers that resonate with you, introduce yourself to the manager or owner, let them know you are a teacher and whether you would like to teach with them – you might just snag a spot on their sub list [add article on getting hired here).
Hot tip – if you are given the opportunity to sub, be available. This is what will help you stand out to a studio manager – the subs that make the scheduled classes easy to cover are at the top of the list when a permanent class needs a new teacher.
Running your own business can be a lonely sport, and these connections can help you stay accountable, keep you on track and offer support on the tough days.
4. Teach Private Yoga
Teaching private yoga sessions instead of group classes can be another way to boost your income. Generally, the rate you can charge for a one-on-one class is much higher than a group class rate, and you have the chance to manage your own schedule and also to book appointments back-to-back.
Switching from group classes to private sessions is a process, and you might need to fine-tune your skills in one-on-one sessions before you feel ready to fully explore private classes (practicing with friends and family is a good place to start). Our partner Francesca Cervero helps Yoga teachers transition to private yoga sessions and it’s so worth checking her work out.
Ultimately, private sessions can bring in more hourly income, enable you to focus down on one student per class and really help clients to find growth in their practice.
5. Consider Online Corporate Yoga
The need for online Corporate yoga has increased since the work-from-home mandates that were issued across the world during the pandemic. Many businesses have been looking for a way to keep remote workers connected while helping with the negative mental health aspects of working remotely, and yoga is a great way to blend those two factors together and improve the feelings of wellness in the workforce.
We heard a great podcast episode from our friends at the Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast about teaching corporate yoga, which included tips on how to approach businesses with a yoga proposal.
Like all modalities of yoga, corporate yoga has its own nuances, but if this style of yoga interests you then there are a lot of opportunities to build an income stream from corporate yoga, with the right information under your belt and the confidence to approach businesses about your offerings.
6. Run Workshops or Courses
Running yoga workshops, courses and teacher trainings can be a great way to boost income. This falls into line with developing your niche (or just knowing what your strengths are) and being connected to other yoga leaders around you.
Developing a course or workshop takes time, and leading it successfully requires a level of skill, experience and confidence but once you have taken the time to develop and deliver a workshop once, it is something you can deliver again and again, improving it each time.
7. Create a Recurring Income from Your Existing Content
Got a great workshop or series you run? Pitch it to local studios. This has multiple benefits – it gets you in touch with local studios so they know you are working in the industry locally, it sets you up as an expert within your topic, highlights your experience and expertise and introduces you to potential new clients through those studios.
Teaching recurring content also enables you to fine-tune the course or workshop, making it better each time. And with experience of delivering it, you can increase your price.
If you have the ability to record an online version of your course, you can create a recurring income with it via your website, by selling it as on-demand content. We created our own mini-course on how to achieve this with Amanda Kingsmith of Mastering the Business of Yoga and you can access that here. Selling on-demand content does require a marketing strategy in order to be successful, however it is a great way to create an income in your business.
8. Fine Tune Your Finances
We need to get right to the point here – increasing income in your business is futile without a solid financial structure to make sure your business has not sprung any money leaks.
Knowing your income, your expenses, your overhead and being aware of savings as they present themselves are all key features of a sound financial strategy.
And finances might not be your thing – most yoga teachers don’t come into the field of yoga from a love of accounting – but getting to know and understand the figures, or hiring someone who can help you, is one of the single most important components of a healthy business model. Without a good hold on what you need to earn, meeting your financial goals will keep being out of reach.
9. Combine Other Skills to Support Your Yoga Business
Many yoga teachers have a side hustle and often it is related to their pre-teacher training life. Using your existing skill set in a way that can still support your yoga business is a good strategy. Got a marketing qualification, or administrative experience in your past life? It’s quite possible you could put those skills to use by offering support to other people around you in the yoga industry.
Working as a virtual assistant, a bookkeeper, content strategist or a marketing assistant are all viable ways to still stay grounded in the business of yoga while supporting your own business, and many yoga teachers multi-task in this way.
10. Invest in a Business Coach
If you are ready to take a big step forward and want to really bust your business goals, hiring a coach to work with you can be money well spent. A business or marketing coach can help you drive your business forward by taking an objective look at what you are doing and finding ways to strengthen your process.
A coach can guide and advise but it is you that must do the work, so our advice is – only hire someone when you are ready to take the time to dedicate to your business. If you are on the fence about whether to hire a coach or looking for someone to hire, it can be a good idea to join Facebook groups or communities that a coach is running, to pick up some tips and learn how they might be able to help you.
Which coach you choose is a matter of personal taste and affiliation, not everyone will be the right fit for you. Some of our favorites are:
- Ashley Hagen, Ashes Yoga
- Amanda McKinney, Marketing Yoga with Confidence
- Amanda Kingsmith, Mastering the Business of Yoga
- Mado Hesselink, Yoga Teacher Resource
- Arianne Om, BizYogi
- Veronica Thai Coaching & Yoga
- Christine Hansen, Christine Means Business
A final word of advice – be patient. Building a strong business will take time, knowledge and a good amount of luck, and your investment of time and energy will pay dividends with the right strategy and guidance
Here at OfferingTree, we want to help our clients boost their income in as many ways as possible. We run monthly webinars with leaders from the world of wellness to help your growth and have a library full of webinars, plus a thriving Facebook community of users helping and guiding each other.
OfferingTree is an all-in-one yoga software for building your business in one easy place. Schedule classes, teach online, take payments, send emails and so much more. We are growing our software all the time and we want to hear from you, our yoga community, on what new features will help you succeed. Sign up for your 14 day trial of OfferingTree today.