Yoga and self-promotion, thoughts?
Yoga and self (or service) promotion go hand in hand. If you want to be a successful and a commercially viable Yoga Teacher – one who can sufficiently afford to pay their rent, bills, eat a 90% raw vegan diet and live in Bondi – you need to self-promote the sh*t out of your brand.
It’s not enough to be a good, likeable and coherent Teacher. You need to front your brand and build your blossoming empire.
For many teachers this is a rough gig and they struggle to actively market themselves and their services. Traditional yoga practices push modesty and humility whilst many Teachers struggle to find their authentic voice and a point of difference in a saturated market . General ‘Mindful Marketing’ practices will help you hone your social strategy, create brand awareness, increase sales and build your tribe (mindful marketing speak for people you can sell stuff too). I can’t help but be skeptical.
I personally believe that some yogis have a distinct lack of imagination and creativity that goes into strategizing the campaign mechanics or building a really notable and distinct brand. Instagraming photos of your half-naked, toned ass’ana doesn’t count (see Meghan Currie for examples). To me everything just looks and feels the same.
I’ve often refer to Sydney yoga school Flow Athletic as a finely tuned frankenstein of BodyMindLife Yoga circa 2010, Strala Yoga NYC and The Future Sound of Yoga. To my designer’s eye all I see are variations of the same thing. Similar styling, concepts, colour palette, typography and art direction. In the Lululemon inspired ‘war against mediocrity,’ I find all this same-sameness abhorrent.
Am I being unfair or unnecessarily antagonistic? Possibly.
I have no issues about being ‘sold’ and marketed to. I understand and empathize with modern day Yoga Teachers and am very willing to spend my money on products/services that offer true value. I want to be in your classes, I want to go to your workshops, I’ll happily buy your e-book and will ‘share’ your latest post.
But as a student I cringe at what some Teachers believe to be authentic and ‘mindful-marketing’. Mindfulness isn’t another photo of your breakfast, an overused stock image, or your latest #lovemylife #selflove hashtag. Mindfulness isn’t about being just like everybody else or running with whatever is popular/fashionable at the time.
Mindfulness is offering up something that’s honest and valuable to your students and community. This is the ultimate role of a Yoga Teacher.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on yoga and self-promotion below.