Having consulted with hundreds of studios, I've come to see some common mistakes owners make while trying to promote their business. Marketing isn't evil (unless you are) it is all about telling your story. And if your story involves the healing power of a sincere yoga practice, then people need to hear it!
1. Not doing enough. OR ANY!
You love yoga and decided to live your dharma opening a yoga studio. You took careful and mindful steps to making sure your studio looked just like and interviewed and hired the perfect teachers. Unfortunately, unlike the movie "Field of Dreams", they (customers) don't come just because you've built it.
You've opened a business and you must think like a business owner. Studio owners are afraid to be "salesy", but being "salesy" and marketing your business are two different things. You should be dedicating time ever week to on your marketing plan.
As with most businesses, it takes time to grow. A single paid Facebook post isn't going to suddenly all the new cliental you need to achieve your income goals. It will take time to see if any of your marketing efforts are working.
3. Assuming that one thing doesn't work, nothing works
Don't get discouraged so fast. Maybe you decide to purchase ad space in a local paper or flyer, but don't seem to generate any new business. Chances are, you haven't given your marketing enough time to pull in clients (see #2) or maybe you need to continue to layer on your marketing strategies (see #4).
4. Only doing one thing
Perhaps you decided to start marketing with Groupon... and its bringing in lots of new people finally! It's great to find something that works, but you will reach a broader audience, and hammer your message home if you layer on marketing through other channels like social media, email and print.
5. Unfocused and no irresistible offer
The number of people interested in doing yoga is on the rise, but that doesn't mean they are ready to purchase your biggest class pack from day one. You need to get rid of the barrier of entry of new students into your practice, specifically financially. Essentially, you are speeding up (to hyper speed) the time between someone considering yoga at your place, to DOING yoga at your studio.
6. Not quantifying your results
How many people did you reach? How many of those people acted on your offer? Did sales increase? Did you recover what you invested? It will be impossible to find out what works and doesn't unless you measure your marketing in some manner. Of course, you may need to try something multiple times to see if your results are statistically significant.
7. Stopping when it starts to work
Imagine a pilot shutting off the airplane engine just when it starts to get off the ground. Often I see studio owners stop investing in a marketing effort as soon as they start to see a return, as if somehow it creates momentum on its own. If it works, keep it up so you keep the benefits exponentially.
8. Marketing materials are what you like, not necessarily your audience
Sometimes I'll meet someone who says "well everything is digital now, so I don't put anything into flyers or mailers". One of the largest growing segments in yoga are baby boomers. And while they are also one of the fastest growing segments on Facebook, your market may have better reach and performance from other materials, such as flyers or direct mail pieces.
Are you making one (or more) of these mistakes? Don't panic! Choose 1 or 2 things you can do differently over the next few months and see what happens. Do you feel like you have tried everything and still haven't seen changes? Consider a personalized consultation session. You can find more info about my consultation services here.