I’m going to start right here: If you follow the 10 Commandments or the Yamas and Niyamas, you should be experiencing the fruit of the Spirit. Having said that, I understand that not all yoga teachers are comfortable with the idea of selling anything – mainly because they think it’s beneath them – not because it’s morally wrong or that the selling process has flaws.
Well maybe they don’t think it’s beneath them, but they don’t want to be in a position to ask anyone for anything OR they associate selling with attachment to materialism. Or maybe they think they don’t have selling skills. (Skills can always be learned, if desired.)
I respect anyone who doesn’t want to enter into marketing or selling. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. However, if you ARE into offering products and services beyond your local teaching schedule, you must enter into the process.
At the very least, yoga and fitness teachers should have a website to highlight themselves as teachers and provide information about their credentials and styles of teaching.
I met a yoga studio owner who was befuddled because she was seeking out good teachers for her studio and couldn’t find any decent websites on teachers in her market. She really had to dig for information on local teachers.
Lately, I’ve noticed a bunch of yoga teachers who are utilizing the internet to promote themselves, their services, workshops and products. Some of them are doing a really good job. Amy Ippoliti is one good example. Either she is a marketing genius, or she has hired someone to do the work for her. My guess is she has hired someone because her site is so professional and her marketing is pretty seamless.
Consider for a moment how you are part of the marketing process as a consumer. When you are in the market for something (looking to buy), you will run across your product or service as you seek information. Maybe you need new yoga clothes and you are looking online at Lululemon or Lucy. One of them is going to market to you through advertising, promotion, sales, specials, email letters, coupons or whatever means they can reach you.
Elephant Journal wants your name and email. Yoga Journal wants them too. Who is more commercial than Yoga Journal? They are of course supported by advertising – people selling you stuff they want to sell you. You are buying and the publication lives on.
My point is that I want you to get comfortable with the idea that it’s okay to sell something other people want and need. You don’t have to feel bad about it or ashamed.
Marketing is the process of bringing a product or service from producer to consumer. We live in a thriving marketplace. It’s a huge blessing to be able to offer products and services to an audience hungry to consume what you have.
So next time you mindfully put a judgment on someone who is selling or marketing (even if it’s yourself), see if you can readjust your thinking to know that people want and need what you have for them. They are looking to buy.
I saw a comment in a thread on this subject and the person asked, “how much money to we need anyway?” This had to be referring to the concept of greed. My response was, “as much as it takes to pay our bills the rest of our lives.”
As a yoga teacher, you don’t have to be materialistic; however, you do have to pay the bills! And the bills go on and on and on and on until you die. Are you prepared to retire on your part-time or full-time yoga income? If not, maybe you need to consider selling something (your own product, an affiliate product, a direct sales product as examples) to create an additional source of income for your future – to pay the bills!