Yoga studio marketing requires effort, and it’s far more nuanced than merely spending money on digital advertising.
If you’re looking for unique ways to market your yoga studio and get your first clients, you’re in the right place. This marketing guide is simple and focuses on the best ways to get your first yoga students when you’re just starting in the industry.
So, how does yoga studio marketing work? To market a yoga studio, you have to brand your yoga studio, implement a combination of community-based outreach and digital marketing strategies. I will guide you through a 3-step process that explains the details in this guide.
This post is part of a series of guides and articles providing in-depth information about how to start a yoga studio. Head to the main article to find a list of articles and guides covering the topic.
The 3-Step Process To Yoga Studio Marketing
As a non-marketer, you might find it challenging to market your yoga studio, and you might be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information.
Some say it’s better to start with a digital marketing strategy and spend your money on Instagram and Facebook ads. Others say to focus on your local community and host local events.
Which approach is the best?
The best approach to yoga studio marketing is to combine ALL marketing avenues and hold creative classes that naturally attract attention.
However, if you had to choose only one area to focus your efforts, focus on digital marketing. Yoga studio owners from relevant Facebook groups that I am part of have confirmed that Facebook and Instagram marketing works best for them.
I have provided a 3-step process that any beginner yoga studio owner or teacher can follow. This process consists of a set of firm criteria that starts by creating the kind of studio people want to attend and then implementing a combination of offline community outreach events and digital marketing strategies.
The following is the 3-step process to market your yoga studio:
- Brand The Yoga Studio.
- Implement Community Outreach.
- Implement Digital Marketing.
Step 1 Yoga Studio Marketing: Branding The Yoga Studio
Consider the following: How does your yoga studio stand out among dozens of yoga studios in your area?
Many teachers wrongly focus on marketing techniques, without realizing that their studio could naturally take off by word of mouth. If you brand your studio by offering creative classes, holding fun events, and making a splash in your community, you will attract new students.
Therefore, your job is to rebrand your studio as something that naturally draws students. The studio has to stand out and attract the attention of all yoga enthusiasts in the area.
How many times have you heard “X studio offers cool classes, you should check it out”? This referral is what you want people to talk about when they mention your studio.
Pro Tip: Place yourself in the shoes of a yoga student. How would you pick a yoga studio to attend? Design your studio based on that criteria.
Design Creative Classes
The yoga class has to be an experience that stands out if you want it to be memorable and to attract new students.
If the students experience a good impression during your class, they will spread the word, and you will attract new students naturally. The experience of your sessions is the most critical part of your marketing strategy. The studio has to be an experience, not just a learning environment.
Think about what you would want from a yoga class. Do you want to sweat, dance, relax, have fun, exercise, or all the above? Check out Hotpod yoga in London for some inspiration.
Examples Of Creative Yoga Classes
You can implement elements from many different yoga styles to create the ultimate class experience for your students. Instead of having one set method that bores your students after a few classes, combine different styles and build a unique experience for students.
Liven up the room by adding lights that enhance the atmosphere. These can be simple LED lights that you attach to the walls and windows. Add scents and incense to make the interior smell right. Students should feel at home from the minute they enter your studio. Lights and scents set the mood of the class.
To design creative classes, consider implementing trendy yoga styles.
Example: Aerial yoga is one of the most popular contemporary styles of yoga. It works by hanging a hammock at the ceiling of the studio and then attaching it to your student’s bodies, with the mat underneath.
Aerial yoga makes students feel weightless, and your classes stand out a lot. It is one of the fastest ways to make your sessions a unique experience, and the hammocks are cheap to purchase too.
Hula hoop yoga is also an easy way to make your classes stand out because all you need are a few hula hoops for your students. You can use them to encourage better movement, higher expression, and a wide range of motions for flexibility. You will only need one hula hoop per student to conduct yoga classes incorporating hula hoops.
If you want to take it a step further, you should consider teaching pet yoga and catering to pet-owners. This way, your students can bring their cute cats and puppies to class, and that can make them feel a lot better about attending yoga classes. Where else could they bring their pets, if not the yoga studio?
Re-structure Price Packages
Price has a significant impact in terms of which yoga studio your students choose, despite yoga students representing the highest-earning echelons of American society.
The average price per yoga class is $15-25, with drop-in classes costing $10 on the low end and $30 on the high end, nation-wide. Not much has changed in terms of pricing, as yoga class attendance used to cost the same in the ’90s as it does now.
So, should you price your classes as low as possible to get new students?
The price should be determined based on your location, square footage, experience, and any unique aspects that make your yoga studio stand out.
Yoga Studio Pricing To Stand Out
If you offer classes that are very similar to your competitors, you’ll have to lower your prices to stand out.
If your business uses a drop-in pricing model, develop different price categories based on the length of your classes. Example: Short 30 minute classes could be $10, medium 60-minute classes could be $20, and extended 90-minute sessions could be $30.
If your studio is in a trendy area of a major city, you could charge $30 for the medium class model. Check your nearest competition to make sure.
Note: The location of the studio and the rent costs usually determine the pricing more than the competition.
If your business model is a private-class model and you schedule classes with individual clients, you could charge double or triple the drop-in group model.
The average cost of a private yoga class is between $35-75/hour, with many yoga classes costing $100+/hour.
To make your pricing models stand out, consider implementing package deals such as “Unlimited Class” packages. Under the “Unlimited Class” package, your students should get free classes for a full month, whenever they choose.
If they wish, they can attend a full day of classes under this model. Typically these packages cost $100-500/month, depending on the studio.
Moreover, consider inventing private class packages that allow students to pick ten private classes per month where you coach them in person. Your students can choose when they want to schedule a private lesson with you, and this package should be the most expensive. You could easily charge $500-1000 for a ten private class package.
NOTE: StudioGrowth allows you to create any class-packs, memberships, and discounts at the click of a button. Allowing you to experiment and succeed.
Offer Free Trials
When you’re starting, nothing is worse than an empty studio.
Your first students will know they’re the first ones to attend because there will be very few students in attendance.
How do you get over the initial awkwardness and fill up your studio?
The answer: offer a free trial.
Free trial incentives are the fastest way to fill up your studio when you’re starting. While many studios will only offer one free class, you should consider offering a month of attendance for free.
Make your first month a “free-for-all” month to stand out in your community. This strategy could potentially drive hundreds of students to your yoga studio and make the word go out. This strategy has worked great for Class Pass. Just going by the law of averages, you will have at least a few dozen paid students who remain at the end of the month.
Many teachers think that offering free trial incentives is a loss of income because they have to pay for the rent cost at the end of the month. However, getting your name out there is more important than getting paid immediately. If you optimize for delayed gratification, you will have a base of students and become known in your community.
NOTE: StudioGrowth allows you to create discounts, promos, and referral codes in seconds. I have built StudioGrowth intending to provide simple tools for accelerated yoga studio growth.
Create unique rewards for people who introduce other students to your classes. This referral process is an excellent reward system after you’ve built up a base of a few dozen paying customers. Your students will have an incentive to bring their friends and relatives to your studio.
If you offer deals such as discounts and free merchandise for people who refer other students, you could expand your client base drastically.
Example: Offer a 25% discount on a membership fee for every member who brings another member to your studio.
If the Unlimited membership model at your place costs $150/month, allow them to sign up for only $109/month, as long as they bring another student. You will get new students, and this will incentivize your existing students to bring more students because they want to get a good deal too.
NOTE: StudioGrowth has a powerful in-built referral system allowing you to create and manage customer referrals and loyalty programs with few simple clicks.
Bring In Guest Teachers For Yoga Studio Marketing
What better way to attract attention than to bring a master Yoga gurus from India or other exotic locations to your studio?
Many experienced yoga teachers will agree to work for a low price as long as they get exposure in front of a new audience. If you have a prominent studio, they may decide to hold a class for free at your studio as long as they can record it.
Beginner teachers looking for employment may even agree to teach for free at your studio, as long as they get a reference from you. Publish ads and seek out new talent at your studio. Eventually, you may have to hire instructors or get a partner who will split the workload with you.
Stand Up For A Cause
People will be willing to contribute more if they know your studio stands up for a cause. There are many community issues you could tackle, or try to solve yourself by reaching out to local charities and finding ways you could help.
Each community has organizations dedicated to helping vulnerable people like domestic abuse victims, homeless, drug-addicts, children, and even animals. Find out which local charity you could contribute to, and announce that you will donate the proceeds from the classes to that charity.
Example: You could donate 30% of your proceeds to the local domestic abuse shelter. This model will make your studio stand out as you’re not only in it for the profit.
Step 2 Yoga Studio Marketing: Community Outreach
How many times have you picked up a leaflet some dropped off at your mailbox and decided to check out the company’s products online? Reaching out to people the good old-fashioned way is still useful, and it’s one of the fastest ways to build a community of local students.
Most studios will service a local community, and very few students will come from outside of that community. Therefore, your local community is who you should market to before testing other avenues.
So, how do you reach out to your community in creative ways? The main ways to do it include holding fun events, partnering with other businesses, and promoting using conventional print ads.
Host Celebrations For Yoga Studio Marketing
If you have a new yoga studio, consider throwing an “Opening Party,” which invites everyone from the community.
Invite neighboring businesses and hang a big announcement sign that you’ll have a day-long opening party where everyone can drop in for free drinks and snacks. The party could last all day long or only 1-2 hours, where you host a themed class with the attendees.
If you hold an “Open House” party, set the mood inside the studio by cleaning and preparing as if you’re teaching a class. You can light candles and do chants with the attendees to introduce them to your style of yoga. Make sure the studio smells good, the candles lit, and the tables with the drinks and food separated from the primary practice area.
Warning: Apply caution when you’re hosting parties and inviting the community. The studio has to reflect your brand on the day.
Once your yoga studio grows, you could host charity events where you ask people to leave a small donation at the entrance that you will donate to a cause.
You can also partner with local organizations to help you develop the event and invite them to the charity event. Your local community will love you.
Partner With Local Institutions
What better way to make yourself known than to pop-in on some of the largest institutions, recreation facilities, and businesses in your area?
The best way to get the word out — aside from student referrals — is to go to the most popular spots in your community.
If your yoga studio caters to the young, visit a school, and negotiate with the principal to offer free classes to children. This way, you can gain massive exposure in front of your ideal students, and you can teach children the basics of yoga at their school.
After that, you can plug your studio and tell them to sign up for classes. Their parents will likely bring them to your studio and enroll them in courses.
If your studio caters to the elderly, visit Retirement Homes and start giving free classes. Retirees love to do stretching exercises that decrease their pain. If you can make it a unique experience by bringing candles and yoga mats to the location, they might consider signing up for your classes.
Pro Tip: Take into account the demographics of the area before you even open a studio.
Demographic And Location
The success of your studio might be dependent on the demographic makeup of the local community. If you live in an established suburban area with families, schools, and shopping plazas, you will find it easy to develop a well-paying clientele. If your studio is in a remote location near a prison, you’ll have a much harder time attracting students.
Pro Tip: Take into account the general location before you rent a space or start a studio.
One of the best locations to open a yoga studio is near a university. The young crowd loves to practice yoga, and they love to pop-in for class after they finish their exams or stressful study sessions.
Find your local university or community college and offer a free class for the students. Then, tell them your studio is right across the corner where they can sign up for daily lessons.
You can also visit local businesses. Companies are now offering free yoga classes to employees. If you have large corporate offices in your vicinity, chances are they’re full of stressed-out people who could use some yoga classes.
Get in touch with the CEOs and ask them to give you a slot at the end of the workday. Doing so will provide you with exposure to people who already frequent the area, and it will make it easy for them to sign up for your classes.
Creative Print Advertising For Yoga Studio Marketing
Print advertising is cheap, and one of the most effective ways to raise awareness in your community. Print advertising includes printing booklets, leaflets, flyers, posters, business cards, or creative forms of print such as calendars.
Advertising with print is one of the fastest ways to get eyeballs on your studio when you’re just getting started.
Start by developing a “Brochure,” which is a small 5-10 page booklet where you explain your services and list the prices for each service.
Publish the yoga studio name at the front, along with a list of services and prices to attract people to read more. Use pictures to visualize the studio environment and show people how you teach yoga.
Example: One page could feature a “Beginner 101” introduction class to yoga where you instruct new yogis about the basics of yoga. Another page could include “Top 5 poses” and showcase your students stretching in your studio while you guide them.
Printing brochures is affordable, and you can print 250 brochures for $100. The exposure you will get from print advertising is immense. Visit all your local institutions where your target demographic gathers and leave the flyers for free or pay them to hand them out to each client.
Pro Tip: If your target demographic is female yoga practitioners, visit a hair salon or a massage center and leave the brochures there.
To finalize the print marketing campaign, start developing leaflets. Leaflets are single-page ads that feature necessary information about your class, your website, prices, and contact information.
You can drop leaflets in front of every house in your community within as little as a few hours. Doing so will give you direct exposure to all residents, similar to a targeted digital marketing campaign.
Step 3 Yoga Studio Marketing: Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the last step to a successful marketing strategy.
Although it’s possible to build a thriving studio using community outreach and word-of-mouth advertising, placing your ads online can attract countless new students. Many times students will spread your content for free – and for that, you need an online presence.
Digital marketing starts with developing an online presence such as building a website, having the right member management software, and launching social media accounts. It ends with a paid marketing strategy that strategically places your ads in front of the right target demographic.
You can place your ad in front of your exact target demographic: city, gender, age, interests, and more. If you don’t want to hire a marketing agency, there are ways to implement digital marketing for free.
NOTE: StudioGrowth comes with in-built tools and features to help you with digital marketing initiatives. You can build high converting class schedules and pages selling class-packs and memberships. You can choose from pre-built templates and get set up in minutes.
Build An Online Presence For Yoga Studio Marketing
Each yoga studio needs a website. If you don’t have a website, use the class schedule and membership and class-pack sales pages of your yoga studio booking software as your web presence.
If you want to know how your website should look, simply emulate the most successful yoga studios in your area. Google “X City + Yoga studio” and check out the first few websites. You will notice recurring patterns in terms of pages, catalogs, and offerings. This experience is what you need to emulate for your clients.
Pro-Tip: The website has to look clean, accessible, and easy to navigate.
To build a yoga-themed website, you can either hire a web development agency or purchase a domain and hosting by yourself. Websites are cheap to develop, and the average .com domain, including monthly hosting costs, will run you $30-40 a year.
Once you’ve purchased hosting, you only have to install WordPress and set-up a yoga theme.
The following pages are necessary: “About Us/History”, “Catalog”, “Pictures”, “Class Schedule”, “Packages/Discounts”, “Blog”, and “Contact Us”. Also, keep it simple and list all your social media details on the front page for easy accessibility.
An addition and alternative to your website is the public-facing pages provided by your yoga studio booking software. The software will provide you with public class schedules and pages where you can sell class-packs and memberships. You can use these pages as your online presence instead of a website.
StudioGrowth provides you with simple, high converting templates for your class schedules and pages to sell class-packs and memberships. Everything else you need to build an online presence in a matter of hours is included, including taking online payments.
Build A YouTube Channel For Yoga Studio Marketing
More than 85% of all internet traffic in the US is video. If you can develop videos related to yoga, you can gather tens of thousands of views by people interested in yoga.
Moreover, YouTube advertising allows you to target your users by location, which immediately places your video in front of interested students in your immediate area.
Start by opening your own YouTube channel. Name the channel after your studio or use your name. Your videos don’t have to be exceptional or have Hollywood-tier production to receive attention on YouTube. They could be home-made videos instructing clients about a particular type of yoga.
Example: “Top 5 Yoga Stretching Exercises For The Morning”. “The Best Yoga Attire For The Summer,” etc.
The more niche the videos are, the better. Start by developing short 3-minute long tutorials, and once you get confident shooting in front of the camera, develop 1-2H long videos of classes and publish them under your channel. Publishing videos will give you massive exposure, and if some of your videos take off, potentially lead to millions of views for your videos.
Pro Tip: Think of something that bothers you about yoga, and make a video offering a solution. Do you hate having to clean mats after every class? Make a video about the top 5 ways to clean a yoga mat.
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy for yoga studios that can drive a lot of targeted traffic to your website for free. If you have a “Blog” section on your website, you can publish articles that will answer common yoga questions and relate them to your local community.
This way, when someone looks up yoga studios in your area, they will find your studio among the top results.
Content marketing takes longer than paid advertising to materialize. However, once you rank in the search engine results, they can drive free traffic to your website for a long time. This reason is why content marketing is one of the optimal long-term marketing strategies for yoga studios.
So, what should you write? Write content that relates to your target audience! Most yoga enthusiasts care about health, wellness, nutrition, fitness, meditation, and other conscious subjects. You can either write the content yourself or hire professional writers to carry out the research and write the articles for you.
Learn about keyword research and discover keywords you need to target to gain free traffic to your website.
Keyword research is the first step in any SEO campaign. There are free tools such as Wordtracker, which will allow you to research keywords and find out which keywords related to yoga people are searching in your area. The keywords don’t have to be popular, but they can be short, targeted keywords.
Keywords such as “Yoga Studio Price St. Louis” are not broad keywords, but they point to an interest in the local St. Louis yoga community. If you’re a studio in St. Louis, consider optimizing for keywords related to your niche.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is huge. In 2019, marketers spent over $89B on social media advertising in the US alone.
The first step of a social marketing strategy is to develop a presence on social media. Once you’ve established a presence, your job is to create content and market the content using free viral and paid marketing campaigns.
Instagram is all the rage recently. The main benefit of Instagram advertising is that it has 1B active monthly users. You can also follow and market to your target audience directly. This direct marketing can give you immense exposure, especially if you go after established yoga studio fans in your area.
Facebook is also integral to any marketing strategy, and it shouldn’t be left out if you’re planning on spending your advertising budget on targeted ads.
Both platforms are visuals-heavy and require serious creativity on your end.
To get free exposure, start by updating your business accounts daily.
- Take pictures of the studio while you’re holding class and publish the images online.
- Publish “Stories” of your classes and the time before class.
- Publish yourself going about your daily life, as this will increase personal engagement with your students.
- Ask your students for their Instagram profiles. This way, you can tag students on your “Stories,” and they share the stories, giving you exposure to hundreds of potential clients.
Once you start posting your content daily and your profiles are gaining traction, it’s time to increase your followers.
Make sure not to go overboard on following people because Instagram might shadow-ban you. Follow yoga fans from other yoga profiles. Follow your competitor’s followers and engage with them.
Paid Social Media Advertising
The final step to a digital marketing campaign (once you’ve established a presence on social media and search engines) is to move on to paid advertising.
Paid search engine advertising such as AdWords is more expensive than social media advertising because most yoga students prefer to engage with their studio on social media.
Paid social media advertising allows you to target the full spectrum of users in a particular area. You can target users based on their location, age, gender, interests, and even the device they’re using.
There are ways to lower the cost per click, such as by optimizing for mobile-devices only and making your ads effective so that they get more clicks.
Make your videos catchy to grab people’s attention in the first 1-2 seconds. Either hire professional video editors who can develop a short 30-second commercial for your studio or edit the videos yourself using a video editor.
The more creative and attention-grabbing your videos, the more attention you’ll get. Doing so boosts your click-through-rate and saves you money on ad-spend.
Pro Tip: Locate a digital marketing agency in your area to discuss a marketing budget for Instagram and Facebook Ads. If you set a budget of $1000/month, you can negotiate your options for that particular amount. If your budget is higher, you could run much larger marketing campaigns.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Once you’ve established your studio through organic SEO placements and digital marketing, you will attract prospects who are interested in your product but might not be ready to sign up. How do you captivate their attention? The answer: Email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage students who are currently enrolled in your class or potentially interested in joining.
Email marketing is the primary digital marketing channel, according to the yoga studio owners in the various Facebook groups where I am a member.
Example: Offer a freebie such as a guide, “Top 25 Yoga Poses For The Morning” in exchange for their email.
StudioGrowth also provides a simple autoresponder with pre-built high converting email templates. Use StudioGrowth as the hub of your email marketing activities.
I suggest coming up with a series of articles related to yoga that you send out in the first seven days of the person signing up for a freebie. Each day you will send them one article that they consume with a call-to-action instructing them to sign up.
As a final note, to enhance your email marketing strategy, consider sending out the following emails: Welcome emails for new students, class reminders, special promos/discounts, events, charities, yoga info articles, tutorial videos, and blog posts. StudioGrowth will handle all this for you automatically. All you have to do is to select which emails you want to send out. Then leave the rest to StudioGrowth!
This post is part of a series of posts providing in-depth information on everything you need to know to start a yoga studio. The other posts in this series include:
- Are yoga studios profitable?
- How much do yoga studio owners make?
- What is the cost of opening a yoga studio?
- Teach yoga without certification
- Do yoga instructors need insurance?
- How to name a yoga business
- How big should a yoga studio be?
- Best place to open a yoga studio
- Yoga studio decor
- What color to paint a yoga studio
- Best flooring for yoga studios
- Heaters for yoga studios
- Best plants for yoga studios
- Music in yoga class: do’s and don’t
- Candles for yoga studios
- Incense, scents, & essential oils for yoga studios
- How yoga studios pay teachers
- Opening a yoga studio in a small town
- How to start a donation-based yoga studio
- Yoga studio grand opening ideas
- Why yoga studios fail
- Yoga studio franchise
- Yoga Studio Scheduling Software
I write abouT establishing and Growing your boutique Fitness/Wellness Business. I promise no spam, i hate spam.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the fitness and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set-up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently resides in London, U.K.