We all want to connect with ourselves and others. The “desire to feel like we belong” is a fundamental aspect of the human experience.
A sense of belonging and connection within a community is essential to our well-being.
Without it we feel isolated, lonely and disengaged.
“Community is everything to us. It is within each other we find ourself. See the best in others, see the best in yourself.”
Building community wherever you are is so important to the health of your students and the wellbeing of your business.
As yoga teachers, a common way to cultivate community is by working for a local studio and participating in studio events. We also create our own events and opportunities and market them through our website and social media.
Unfortunately, creating a thriving community doesn’t happen overnight.
And without a strong online community, our success as a yoga teacher can fall short.
The ability to create a thriving online community is no easy feat. However, with sincere effort, dedication and time, it can be done and greatly impact your success as a yoga entrepreneur.
But what does this mean and how do you create one?
That’s what we’re here to share with you today: how to create a thriving online community for your yoga students. Don’t worry, we’ll also share plenty of tips to building a community “offline” as well.
Still don’t have a website for your yoga biz? Snag our free Beginners Guide to Creating a Yoga Website you love!
WHY you should be creating an online yoga community for your yoga business
With so much of our lives existing on the internet, online communities are a crucial ingredient to your success as a yoga entrepreneur.
Online communities act as a place for like-minded people to gather and relate to one another as they share ideas, interests and more. In the yogiverse, this means a place for other yogis to share anything related to yoga: teaching, philosophies, styles, etc.
As a yoga entrepreneur, creating an online community is an important piece to your business. Most of your current (and future) clients spend time online. It’s in your best interest to hang out where your ideal client hangs out – aka start participating in online communities or create your own!
Beyond your FB business page and “verified Pinterest page,” having a few other places to directly interact with your students and clients will (literally) pay off in the future.
Online Communities will help you:
- Reach more students/clients
- Make more of an impact in the yogiverse
- Market your offerings
- Build deeper relationships with your current and future students/clients
- Share your ideas worldwide
- Build trust
5 Ways you can build a sense of community for your yoga students
#1 Use Social Media
By now, you may or may not have your social pages set up for your business. Although as we now know, we cannot control the algorithms on social media, but we can still post regularly and use a few simple strategies to reach your market.
Examples of using Social Media to create Community:
- Create a Facebook Event. This can work for both local and online events. For local yogis with whom you want to build community, consider creating a free or donation yoga class in a nearby park. For online yogis, you could use FB events to promote your retreats, trainings or online classes.
- Create a Private Facebook Group. Personally invite yogis to a private FB group where they can interact with one another. This helps build community as they support one another with anything related to yoga. You can also start a private FB group after you sell a product, for those new clients to interact with one another, and you to easily reach them. Be sure to study what other groups already exists and be sure to create something a unique spin to it.
- Feature other yogis on your social pages. Ask your followers to submit a photo with the expectation that you’ll repost it to your social pages. This not only helps each of you build your following, but it builds a wider community bringing yogis together from all over the world!
Social Media Protip: #hashtags are a great way to build community on Instagram – consider creating your own community hashtag. For example, The Yoga Nomads could use #yoganomads or #yoganomad
#2 Create a Newsletter – build a community that’s solely yours!
Your email list is the one and only community curated by you, for you…. And only you! We’ve talked before about the importance of yoga teachers building an email newsletter and we can’t stress it enough.
An email list is a great way to create your very own online community. You’re able to deliver YOUR message to your subscribers on a schedule that works for you. You can elicit responses to your emails and gain a better understanding of your tribe – this allows you to creating more useful content.
The more you create a sense of community in your email newsletter, the easier it will be to sell your premium offerings.
Word to the wise: Treat your email subscribers with respect.
They are your biggest fans and you don’t want to upset them by constantly bombarding them with product offers. Instead focus on providing value first, and only occasionally asking them to do something (such as share your blog post, respond to an email, or purchase your offering).
We like using the ratio of 5:1. Meaning we send highly useful content 5x as often as we ask our readers to do something. In a way, this trains your email subscribers to open your emails because they’re usually jam packed with value.
#3 Initiate a Challenge
The yoga world LOVES a good challenge. They can be encouraging, motivating and help cultivate community in a big way. Challenges work well both online and in-studio.
Be sure to participate in other yogis’ challenges before committing to creating your own. You will learn what works and what doesn’t work so you can create a successful challenge yourself!
Online Challenges: Initiate something similar to what you’d do in the studio. Since the social media world seems to love images… you could encourage yoga pose images following a specific theme. Create a hashtag that yogis are required to use if they participate. This hashtag is a great way to track how many participants you have!
In-studio Challenges: You can start a 21-day challenge (it takes 21 days to create a habit!) to attend a class everyday during that timeframe and then offer a drawing for a gift at the end. (Free class package, retail, etc.).
#4 Collaborate with other leaders in your community
Collaborating with other yogis is an easy way to expand your community. Start by making a list of leaders in the yoga community that you know personally and reach out one by one with ideas to collaborate.
Some ideas include:
- Co-teach a donation class at a nearby park
- Co-lead a workshop series at a local studio
- Tag team with a tea/kombucha company on a giveaway to help promote both you and the company.
The more you collaborate with others, the more opportunity you have to build community and extend your reach in the ever expanding yogiverse.
Word to the wise: The best collaborations are when each partner brings something different to the table.
First address your own skill set, then find someone to compliment what you’re offering.
If you’re a yoga teacher maybe you could lead a “spine health workshop” with a chiropractor. Or how about “yin + astrology” workshop?
This crucial step in building community can often get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Wherever you are in building your yoga business, it’s always important to interact with those around you. This can be and should be done both online and in-studio. Be sure to like, comment and genuinely engage in conversations in the social media world.
And remember: quick, surface interactions won’t get you very far.
If you’re teaching at a studio, make connections with your students both before and after class. Don’t forget the importance of remembering someone’s name. The little things can go a long way. And all of these interactions will help you build a thriving community.
So now that you have some ideas… what should you do next?!
Which one of these tips is calling to you? Start by implementing that one first. After you’ve built a solid community building routine, considering adding in another strategy.
Your vibe attracts your tribe,
PS: If you don’t already have a website, be sure to download our FREE Beginners guide to creating a yoga website below.
Your website is like your “yoga business home base” – all your yoga, business, and marketing activities flow in and out of your site. Download our FREE beginners guide so you can learn how to create your own yoga teacher website!