The number of Americans practicing yoga has grown by over 50 percent in the last five years. Wonderful news, but it does mean operating in an increasingly competitive market. For a yoga studio to succeed and thrive, you need to integrate marketing into your daily business operations. This means a fully developed marketing strategy, cultivating a unique brand identity and having a financial plan to back it up. Whether you are a single studio or part of a larger network, marketing is key.

Making Conversation:

Marketing goes beyond simply letting people know you exist. Through marketing you build a conversation with your community and create a perception in the consumer’s mind about who you are. Marketing also allows you to preview the experience you are selling. It’s your opportunity to capture the imagination of your potential customer.

Piecing together the Picture:

There are many platforms for getting your message out there: social media, website, print media, newsletters, emails and direct mail. Some are more conversational (social media) while others are informational (direct response). Social marketing is powerful for brand marketing where you tell people what makes you unique while response informs and invites people in.

Target Market and Motivate Action.

The way you communicate on Instagram is going to differ from the communication in a direct mail piece. Be sure your marketing communicates a clear way for your audience to respond, whether it’s to come in on a special offer or to share, post, ang tag on social media.

Care and Craft:

Execute your marketing materials with care and craft. They need to be branded, beautiful, consistent, and timely. Take the time to learn and utilize the tools to make your communication clearly valuable to the consumer.

Marketing begins before the doors open.

Marketing begins before you open the doors to your studio. Expect to invest up front for pay-off in the first year. As long as you are in business, reiterating, strengthening, and evolving along the way. As you move into the future your marketing will remind your community of their value and you will continue to create more value for them in return for retention.

Marketing guideposts:

As long as your in business, dedicate a portion of your budget to marketing so you are able to act when things don’t go as planned. Also, be sure to understand what you expect from your investment, in other words, how many people you need to bring in to your studio for the cost of the particular marketing piece.

Here’s a Quick Guide for phases and spending:

  • Preopening typically for studios is 3-5K a month for one to two months before opening.
  • Grand Opening – First 3-6 months of opening 3-5K per month
  • Year One – 5-15 percent of revenue on marketing
  • Year Two – once you have built your clientele 5 percent of revenue on marketing

Maria Turco is the CEO and co-founder of the Honor Yoga Brand. For more information email lori@honoryoga.com.