Building a social media strategy for your new normal

Building a social media strategy for your new normal

Time to get serious about social media as a way to promote your studio and build your brand. You really can’t avoid marketing socially any longer.

Over the last few months, your clients have had to move their work, their personal lives and their workouts to social media. 

Truth → We know they’re online, so we need to meet them where they’re at!

Whether you like it or not, your clients are adrift right now. They’re looking for somewhere to go. You need to be ready to do more than announce that your studio is opening soon. You must share that you are ready for them to safely return to your classes and your community!

Truth → Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to have a social media strategy. 

Creating content for social media

When creating content for social media, you have to get clear on who you’re talking to, what they want to hear from you and how to get it in front of them. First think of content your clients will value. Then create this type of social content and add it to your editorial calendar. 

Here are a few ideas:

  • How to videos: Meditation, sun salutations, chaturangas, and breathing techniques are great places to start. 
  • 10 Minute Morning Routine: Help your clients get the day started right with a regular practice.
  • Bedtime Nidra Class: Great for virtual content, because people can crawl into bed right after, relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. 
  • 10 Minute Lunch Break Classes: Ab blast, Booty blast, Office Chair Stretches
  • Recipes: Ask your staff to help you out with their favorite smoothies, bowls and salads!
  • Weekly Community Class on Facebook: This eliminates signs ups and makes you more accessible.

Remember, your clients are all coming from different backgrounds and may not be practiced yogis or yoga enthusiasts. Take out the yogi rhetoric when you can – you want your clients to see your studio’s value and not be intimidated!

Amplify your content with targeted ads

Once you have an idea of the content you’ll be posting, it’s important to set up a strategy or plan for your social media ads. Ads amplify your reach by getting people to engage with your content – whether it’s to comment on a video or click on your website. You want them engaging!

Truth → The goal with ads is to amplify your reach!

To help your long term strategy, it’s important to have a Pixel Audience Campaign. Pixel is a little piece of code you add to your website. It collects data that helps you track your audience from Facebook ads, optimize ads, and build targeted ads.

This will allow you to target specific audiences more efficiently so you’re not wasting your hard earned money on ads.

The best strategy is to post all of your videos organically to social media, and then share the link to your email list to get traction. The more views and comments you get, the better you’ll rank in the Facebook algorithm (or any other social media platform). This will help your ads get more views AND amplify your reach!

Budgeting for ads can be a touchy subject since things may be tight for you financially. A little from your wallet can go a long way on social media ads, especially because you’ll be targeting a smaller audience.

Create a social media schedule 

 When it comes to a strategized schedule for ads, it’s important to know what you’re putting out to your audience and when! That way you can schedule targeted emails and not burn any unnecessary mental calories trying to keep track of your posts. You’ll always know what you’ve posted and what comes next.

Check out this sample schedule of video ads:

  • Video #1 Your Opening Plans: What are you doing to keep everyone safe?
  • Video #2 Walk Through: What does it look like coming into the studio?
  • Video #3 Self care: Start changing the conversation around self care. Self care is not selfish – it’s necessary. It’s like flying. You have to put your oxygen mask on first.
  • Video #4 Brand Positioning: Have fun with this! People are over the negativity. Let them know you’re following protocols, but remind them of your value.
  • Video #5 Testimonials: Start looking NOW for people who know and love your brand!
  • Video #6 Special Offerings: Share anything new! Highlight virtual classes as well, in case they aren’t ready to step back into the studio just yet. Keep it positive, we don’t want to plant the seed that they can just resort to the virtual classes.
  • Video #7 Sales Video: Give them a short intro of any specials for the studio – virtual or in the physical studio. Make sure you include a strong call to action. Let them know exactly what you want them to do or buy. 
  • Video #8 Value Videos: Include high-value videos to get members engaged. Anything from how to meditate or do sun salutations to a cooking class. 
  • Video #9 Thank you video: Make sure you thank the front line workers, first responders, and especially your yoga teachers for turning their homes into yoga studios.

Don’t let this overwhelm you! This sample schedule isn’t set in stone. Some of these videos you can combine so you’re not repeating yourself. Think about what’s right for your studio and your members. 

Truth → A solid strategy now will keep your studio successful in the long run.

Remember, there is still work to do but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You’ve shown your yoga superpowers over the last few months – working at 110% and keeping your community together. You’ve got this! 

For more super relevant information, join us for Live Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

5 Things to do every time you update your website

5 Things to do every time you update your website

We’re in a season of change. We started 2020 with a BIG shift from business as usual to temporarily shuttering our brick and mortar studios and going fully virtual. For many yoga studio owners, it was the first time their studio offered online classes. Now things are shifting again.

Reopening isn’t as simple as flipping the open sign and taking the COVID-19 banner off your website. You’ll probably have new policies for social distancing and a partial reopening. You’ll need to announce the new structure for on demand video or virtual membership. And once we settle into the new normal for the rest of 2020 you’ll need to update again. It’s a confusing time.

Truth → Now more than ever you need your community in the loop.

When people need information about your studio the first place they look is your website. It’s crucial that your website is free of embarrassing slip ups, out of date information and misdirected links at every stage. There are a lot of moving pieces when you’re running a yoga studio, so I’ve created this checklist to make sure nothing gets missed.

STEP 1: UPDATE YOUR MESSAGING

Your core mission probably hasn’t changed much, so you don’t need a full rewrite. Tweaking some headlines and the larger text is all you need. You’re not really changing what your studio is about, just emphasizing a different aspect of it.

Ask yourself: Is my value proposition for right now reflected in the messaging on my website? Does it emphasize safety and helping members be their best for their family and friends? That’s what people are responding to right now.

STEP 2: EVALUATE YOUR INTRO AND PRICING

Does your intro offer include your new virtual product? Do you have two intro offers right now – virtual and full membership? Ask yourself: would someone visiting your website quickly understand what you’re offering right now?

Keep things clear and simple. People are confused and stressed right now. There’s a lot of decision fatigue. Once you know what your pricing is, double check that you didn’t miss a paragraph about your intro offer on another page.

STEP 3: ADD AN ONLINE CLASSES PAGE

Your virtual studio is a unique product and it needs its own sales page. Keeping virtual lumped in with everything else is confusing for potential members AND search engines. This goes for your website even if your videos are hosted by another platform.

This page can be pretty simple. Let people know the pricing for your virtual offer and the schedule if you’re doing live streamed classes. Include a teaser of what your virtual member portal will actually look like – either in a demo video or a screenshot.

STEP 4: SYNC YOUR CTA BUTTONS

Check every single one of your call to action buttons. Make sure they go exactly where you say they’re going. If someone decides to buy something and they end up in the wrong spot, they’re probably not going to buy it.

Take it a step further and make sure its VERY clear exactly what you want someone on your website to do. Don’t be afraid to switch up your target action and the buttons that go along with it. Your offers might need to change as your studio shifts.

STEP 5: UPDATE YOUR THANK YOU PAGE

The thank you page is the easiest to miss, since you don’t see on the front end of your website. Make sure new members get the right information when you confirm and thank them for their purchase.See you in the studio” with a link to your old schedule doesn’t work as well when the physical studio is closed.

Include instructions for the type of classes that apply to them. That could be in studio classes, live stream classes, on demand videos or all of the above. Make sure it aligns with exactly what you’re selling at the time.

Take time this week and run through the checklist. Print it off or bookmark the page so it’s handy every step of the way. Keep your website free of embarrassing slip ups, out of date information and misdirected links.

For more super relevant information for running a successful studio in this new normal, join the Yogapreneur Collective. Get access to lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and the option to add 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

The classes and services to offer (and NOT offer) when reopening your studio

The classes and services to offer (and NOT offer) when reopening your studio

With new social distancing laws, you’re not opening at full capacity… at least not right away. That means it’s more important than ever to maximize your cash flow per square footage during the time you’re open. Keep in mind, for every class you run you’ll have to pay for cleaning, utilities and teachers. Depending on how big your studio spaces are, you might not make much (or any) money.

Prioritize your classes based on “homeability”

Don’t try and recreate your old class schedule on Day 1. You don’t have the same capacity and you need to be intentional with your classes. You simply won’t be able to get as many members in your classes during the first phase of your reopening.

Try this → Prioritize the classes you haven’t been able to run at home.

Most yoga studios and fitness boutiques run a variety of class types, and some are more well-suited to a home practice. You could call it a high homeability factor. Other classes need a good sound system, high heat or specialized spaces. Decide what classes your studio is most conducive to hosting and plan around that.

It’s been months since your members had the full Bikram or Hot Flow class experience. They’re clamoring for them. They’re willing to wait a little longer for in-studio Yin classes. Try offering those once a month or every other week instead of filling the class schedule with them right out of the gate.  

Truth → Some classes are thriving in your virtual studio

You’ve probably found some classes are doing even better as virtual. Members are more likely to show up for an early morning sun salutation when it’s steps from their bed instead of across town. The same goes for nighttime Nidra classes. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Consider your local community when you set your schedule

Local restrictions will impact how your community interacts with your studio. Members have lives outside of class. Whether they’re working from home or have childcare will play a big part in when they can get to the studio.

Ask yourself:

  • Are schools, childcare and summer camps closed in your local market?
  • Is there still heavy commuter traffic and rush hours?
  • Are people working from home? Will they really need shower facilities?

Off kilter times might work great for your reopening, depending on your local market. If most of the area is working from home, rush hour isn’t going to be a factor. Members working from home might have more flexible hours, so you’re not scheduling around a typical workday.

Make your studio space work for you every minute it’s open.

Private or semi-private classes are a great way to make use of the space, especially smaller rooms. You could do a recurring weekly time slot for $100. Whoever purchased it could bring up to four people. It would be booked ahead of time – guaranteed spot for them, guaranteed income for you.

The pricing is set at around the same rate as your autopay membership. That way it covers you if a member books it for a month ($400), brings three other members along and they all cancel their memberships. If they bring family members or friends, you come out ahead.  

Truth → Smaller, locked in classes feel safer for some members

On their end, it’s not any more expensive than a membership, so that’s an easy sell. For the same price, they get a locked in time slot. The member doesn’t have to try and book classes before they fill. It’s also more secure for them if they’re worried about getting sick. Some members are part of households with high risk people and they’d prefer to play it extra safe.

1:1 training is another great option. Create something results based with a clear goal. Track progress toward that goal with a clear strategy. Many people have gotten out of shape during this time and would love extra encouragement. This is an especially good option if your studio combines yoga and fitness.

Truth → It’s the perfect time to get creative with your offers

Bring back the yoga journey with a special series. You could create a prepaid series, either virtual or in-studio, that runs once or twice a week for a predetermined number of weeks. You could do out of the box offers, including things other than yoga or non-typical types of yoga.

Sell it to members as an add on (at a lower price) or to people in general if you’re running it online. When you’re doing it, make sure to record the classes. Then you have an evergreen video series for your virtual studio or to sell again later.

However you set up your in-studio classes, make sure the space is working for you EVERY MOMENT you’re open. 

For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

What should my pricing strategy be for reopening?

What should my pricing strategy be for reopening?

We’re in a new situation and it can feel overwhelming. Your studio is different than ever before, the economy is different than ever before and so is your community. You’ve built a new, thriving virtual studio over recent months and now you’re reopening your physical location as well.

Good news → There’s always opportunity in the chaos.

You probably didn’t set out to have a robust virtual studio… but it’s a HUGE asset for your business. Properly positioned, your virtual studio can help you sell more memberships and help you fill the cash flow gaps during your reopening. You’re offering more value now and members are expecting to pay more for that added value.

Truth → Don’t be afraid to raise your prices.

Your studio capacity is lower than before and your memberships may have to go up to keep supporting the studio space. Raising prices can be stressful, but now is the perfect time to do it. Don’t widely advertise that an increase is coming and draw attention to it. Simply let them know, this is the price now that we’re reopening.

Your pricing must reflect the time and the effort you’re putting in. Adding and maintaining a virtual studio brings a lot of value to your membership. Running in-studio classes under new restrictions and guidelines is added effort, and really the classes you’re offering are higher value because people are eager to get out of the house.

Be strategic during your reopening

Your pricing may need to change during the next 6-8 weeks if it’s not working for your studio. That’s okay, be flexible with your plan. There’s a lot going on right now in the yoga industry and in your community in general, change is expected.

Truth → Long term you’ll probably want a virtual studio only membership, but now isn’t the time.

You don’t want a huge chunk of your membership jumping to this low-priced option during the first few phases of reopening. Save it for when your studio is back to normal, or nearly there. Be mindful that another phase of closings is possible, especially in the first few months after reopening.

It’s time to update your products, pricing and sales funnels.

The goal is for you and your team to be clear on what you’re selling, why it’s valuable, and how to answer members’ questions. With a clear underlying pricing strategy, your sales funnel will flow smoothly, and clients will be happy to support your studio. Remember, it’s not really about the price, it’s about the value you offer.

Truth → Your pricing tells potential clients what you want them to do.

Your pricing communicates the value of your product, AND it provides valuable direction to your clients. A regular practice is best for your clients. Are you promoting that? Is your pricing funnel directing clients to the autopay membership? If it’s not, now is the perfect time to change it!

Create a pricing strategy that appeals to each client type

Each type of client is looking for something a little different. Keep their needs in mind as you’re merging your in-person and virtual studios. You need an offer for each type you have, but you don’t need much beyond that.

Most studios have some combination of these three client types:

  • Someone who is going to come into the studio all the time.
  • Someone who lives farther away, but still comes in pretty regularly.
  • Someone who dabbles in yoga or is only in town seasonally.

Offer an all-inclusive autopay membership for unlimited in-studio and virtual classes, a limited autopay membership and a recurring class pass. You’ve covered all your bases. 

A limited autopay membership works great for people who are further out of town. They can come in for a set number of in-studio classes per month and supplement with virtual. The recurring class pack should be a low number of classes, say 3 or 4 with a two-month expiration that automatically pays ahead.

Truth →  Decision fatigue is rampant. Keep it simple.

You’ll also need a VERY HIGHLY PRICED drop in once you’re fully open – at least $25. A drop in’s purpose is to show the value of your studio, you’re not trying to sell it. Consider making it a day pass for 24 hours to show you don’t sell individual classes. If clients are insistent on having a 10-pack, make it expire yearly, don’t advertise it and make it more expensive than the recurring class pack.

An example pricing structure would look like this:

  • Day pass: $30 in-studio only (not available during reopening)
  • 10-pack: $200 ($20/class), not listed on main sales page or advertised
  • Recurring 4-pack: $75 ($18.75/class), includes virtual, recurs every two months or when used
  • Autopay Membership: $120/month ($15 at twice a week), unlimited everything with extra perks, no minimum commitment and self-cancelation
  • First month membership discount: $40, rolls directly into autopay membership
  • Autopay Virtual Membership: $30/month (not available during reopening)

Keep it simple for your members. They don’t want an exhaustive list of every possible option, that’s overwhelming. Promote a regular practice with your pricing, and remember it’s about the value you’re offering, not the price itself. 

For more super relevant information, join us for The Re-Open Strong Challenge, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get live webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

Read More

How to make your yoga studio a safe, profitable and fun environment when you reopen

How to make your yoga studio a safe, profitable and fun environment when you reopen

A successful reopening is about more than going back to the way it was before. Now is the time to make your yoga studio better than ever! You’ve changed and grown as a business owner through these uncertain times and your back with more passion, determination and energy than ever before.

Golden rule of reopening → Know your local laws

The first step to reopening is to learn your local laws. These are going to make or break your studio when it comes to negligence and potential lawsuits. Don’t go by what the news is saying or what other studios are doing. Every area is different, and you don’t want any costly mistakes.

We’re all dealing with a brand-new situation. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s okay to be confused or scared about what comes next. The key is creating a clear strategy to make your opening safe, profitable and fun for you and your members.

Here’s what you’ll be dealing with: limits on the number of people in a room, minimum distances between people, or both. Plus up-leveling your cleaning to make members feel ultra-safe. Let’s take it one step at a time.

Re-design your yoga room

Let’s start at the yoga room. You’ll need to grab a measuring tape and figure out exactly what your rooms dimensions are and how many members can fit. Plan where each mat will be and mark it with tape. The average person won’t be able to correctly space themselves without a mark. Save your members, teachers and yourself the stress and label it ahead of time.

Don’t have a distance requirement? Mark the floor anyway. Even if your city is limiting participants to say 25% capacity in the room, they still won’t want all 25% crammed in the front row. Your members not only want to be safe; they want to feel safe. Taking the time to plan your room layout goes a long way.

Think of it like choreography. How will members enter the room, how will they find their spots and exit? Consider adding taped marks outside the room so members remain spaced apart while they wait to enter. Dismiss them by row so there isn’t a big group socializing by the door.

Test it out with your staff. Don’t skip this step. It’s a great way to get your staff dialed in and identify problems before the members show up. Once you’ve ironed out the kinks record it and send it to your members.

Communication is key to a smooth opening

Make sure your members know what to expect. Send an email blast and let them know they can’t congregate in communal spaces. Give them a heads up on closed changing rooms and any other changes. Include a video on how they’re supposed to enter and exit the yoga space. Demonstrate proper mat set up and hang pictures of what that looks like.

Truth → The more prepared your members are the easier it will be.

Put yourself in the member’s shoes. What kind of questions will they ask? What will their concerns be? Answer all those questions ahead of time in an email sequence, on social media, your website or all three.

  • Will you have mats available? Are you expecting your members to bring their own mats? Will the rental process look different than normal? Will they only be available for purchase?
  • How will the mats be cleaned? Most yoga studios provide spray cleaner or wipes members grab after class. That’s not a great option now. Do you want students to clean their mats at home? Will individual cleaning supplies be offered?
  • What extra cleaning precautions are you taking? Show that your cleaning processes are more robust. Use chemical cleaning agents and make sure you’re cleaning high touch hard surfaces often. Don’t be shy about these changes. Members want to know to make them feel safe.
  • Do members have to pre-register? Classes will be smaller than before. You’ll need to have members pre-register for class and sign a new waiver. Denying drop-ins, even if you have room, will go a long way to making members feel safe in the space.
  • Can members pay in person? Encourage your members to pay online. This will streamline the class set up process and cut back on exchange of credit cards and money. You’ll limit close quarters interactions and keep everyone feeling safer.
  • Do members have to wear a mask? Your area may require all members to wear masks while they’re in the studio. If it does that’s an easy answer. If not consider having your staff wear masks to protect members in case they’re asymptomatic carriers. Either way, providing masks for free or purchase is a good call.

Remember to keep it fun

You need to follow the new rules to keep yourself, your staff and your members safe. That’s a given. But people are still coming to you for a yoga experience. Do what you can to give them the experience they expect from your studio.

You want your studio to be clean, but not so sterile and clinical people don’t enjoy being in the space. Rearrange your furniture or put up a fresh coat of paint to make the space feel new and inviting. Pleasant scents, positive music and fresh flowers brighten up any space. Welcome back signs are a MUST. Let your members know you’ve missed them and you’re excited to have them!

For more super relevant information, join us for The Re-Open Strong Challenge, For just $27.

This Challenge and so much more is included in the Yogapreneur Collective.

Read More

Is Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform right for your yoga studio?

Is Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform right for your yoga studio?

We’ve all been eagerly awaiting information on the new Mindbody Virtual Wellness Platform. The seamless integration has a lot of promise. Done right, it could make things a lot easier for your yoga studio. But as it stands, Mindbody might not be your best option… Why? It’s all in the recent update to the Terms and Conditions.

The most common lie in our society is “Yes, I’ve read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.” Most of us speed right through and check the box every time we sign up for a new service or download a new app. That’s a BIG mistake when it comes to your business.

Especially right now, as studio owners are striving to shift their business models to keep up during this time of high paced change, it’s not easy to stay on top of all the fine print, its implications, and keep a finger on the pulse of what this indicates for the direction the wellness industry is taking — and what this means for your business.

Truth → You need to read the Terms and Conditions of any new platform or service to keep yourself safe.

Not everyone thinks like a lawyer. If reading the fine print stresses you out, delegate it. Just make sure you’re keeping your business safe and not ignoring the terms just because they’re full of legal jargon that’s hard to read and understand. By agreeing without reading, we give up stuff that we wouldn’t if we were talking to someone face to face.

Who controls the content? You or Mindbody?

The first thing you should do when you’re looking at Terms and Conditions is figure out what’s covered. In this case, Mindbody defines “content” as literally anything you put on the platform now and in the future. That means any video or pictures you upload, branding or branded materials (including your logo) and any other materials you may be able add in the future, like PDFs or workbooks for teacher training.

Truth → You’re consenting to give Mindbody free use of ALL your content.

Mindbody states you retain ownership of your content, but notes you’ve granted “worldwide, exclusive, irrevocable, unlimited, royalty-free… sublicensable and transferable license to the Content” meaning Mindbody can use your content, including your branding, pretty much however it wants.

Truth → You’re not allowed to use the content on another platform.

Even though you still own the content, there’s a special rule in the Terms and Conditions. It specifically states you’re not allowed to use your content on YouTube or any other platform besides Mindbody. If you upload a short class to Mindbody for your members, you can’t also use it on YouTube for a marketing funnel without breaking the contract.

Who is liable? You or Mindbody?

Everyone is trying to pass liability down the line when it comes to legal contracts. That’s no surprise. You’re liable for any content that ends up on the platform, which makes perfect sense. If you use copyrighted music in your videos that’s not Mindbody’s fault.

The problem is, Mindbody has the ability to use your content however they like, outside of your use on the platform. They could take your video content and use it in a way your music license doesn’t cover, and you’ll still be liable for it. Which is a problem, since you might not even know they’re doing it.

What about royalties? Do you get paid if they use your content?

The Terms and Conditions go so far as to specifically say Mindbody can “reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works, display and perform it” for use by its Virtual Wellness Platform, Mindbody itself or any of its affiliates. It doesn’t state they have to tell you they’re doing it and they have zero obligation to pay you for it.

Mindbody is in control of ALL your content, can use it however they want to without paying you for it, and they decide when the contract ends. If you were to take your video down and cancel your subscription, Mindbody could still decide to use your content elsewhere. If it was profitable enough for them and they wanted to keep using it, you’d still be subject to the licensing agreement.

Truth → Mindbody is under NO obligation to pay royalties, even if they monetize your content.

To me, this clearly indicates Mindbody has a direct-to-consumer play coming where they open up virtual content in a separate app or as a consumer addition. They’d be able to use the content you and other Mindbody users make and get paid directly for access, cutting your studio out of the picture. They could choose to pay the studios that created the content in the first place, but they wouldn’t have to. You’d have no say in the matter.

What happens if you break the contract?

If you break the Terms and Conditions, Mindbody still retains licensing rights and full use of your content. They can also turn off your access to the Virtual Wellness Platform and have the option to suspend software services, which could mean turning off your Mindbody access altogether.

It doesn’t seem very likely that they’d take it that far, but it may be a possibility. Take the time to read the Terms and Conditions for yourself. Your business is exceedingly important, now more than ever. Business leadership is the most important leadership of our time. Anything you don’t understand creates a risk you could be taken advantage of.

Truth → You don’t want to get backed into a corner.

If you want to use the new MindBody platform, but have issues with the Terms and Conditions, highlight the parts you don’t agree with and contact their legal department. They’ll take your feedback and hopefully make some adjustments for everybody. Even if they don’t, you’ve had the chance to voice your complaints.

For more details, watch my video: New Terms for MBO’s Virtual Platform.

Amidst all of your responsibilities as a studio owner in this time of high speed changes, it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of every single detail and understand the potential implications for your business’s long term success. That’s why you need access to up to date info and cutting edge resources now more than ever before.

For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included inside the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these livs webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

The top 5 legal considerations for your yoga studio right now.

The top 5 legal considerations for your yoga studio right now.

Your yoga studio is reopening into a different world than a few months ago. New laws govern how you can operate. Every level of government has rules about if you can open, when you can open, and how you can open. It’s a confusing time. Being unsure is normal. None of us really know what’s going to happen. That’s why it’s important to make great decisions before something bad happens.

LEARN YOUR LOCAL LAWS:

Be proactive! Now is the time to find out what your city, state and nation require when your yoga studio opens back up. Don’t take the news at face value or do what everyone else is doing. Every single area has its own rules. Find a government website and get your information straight from the source.

These laws determine negligence (if you were acting carelessly), which can open you up to lawsuits. If someone catches COVID-19 at your studio and you weren’t following your area’s specific laws you’re screwed. It won’t matter how at fault you are or if the member signed a waiver. You’ll still have a costly lawsuit to deal with…

The golden rule → Learn and follow your municipal laws.

Print out a copy of your local laws and post them in your studio. Make it really clear you’re doing everything you can to be considerate and careful during your reopening. It’ll go a long way. Check your local, state and federal laws, because they may have different requirements. You want to follow ALL the rules.

If there’s a conflict of laws and your city says you can’t open, but your state does, I’d think long and hard about if you really need to reopen or if it can wait. If something happens and your municipality says you can’t be open, you’re going to be in big trouble from a negligence perspective.

CYA WITH A NEW WAIVER:

The wonderful thing about your yoga studio is that everything is voluntary. All your members and staff are choosing to accept the degree of risk that comes with physical activity already – you just need to juice up your waiver to cover the new COVID-19 risks.  

Truth → Legal liability always comes down to how specific the waiver is.

Ask yourself these questions: what activities will members be doing at your yoga studio? What are the risks of these activities? What could go wrong? Double check that your waiver already covers all the activities your members do and the injuries that could result from their practice.

Once that’s done, add in something about the risks of practicing at home instead of the studio and make sure you explicitly state the world is going through a pandemic with a highly contagious virus. State you’re opening in accordance with all relevant laws, but there is a chance someone could catch it while on the premises.

Finally, your waiver should include acknowledgement that the member is practicing voluntarily, you’re released from liability and an affirmation of health. By attending a class, your member is saying they have not traveled in the last 14 days, don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, are not high risk and they are not injured to the point they cannot practice.

GET A STAFF WAIVER TOO:

Staff need to agree to work under these unique conditions too. You can create a staff version of the waiver for them to sign, put it in the employee handbook or discuss it on a recorded call. The key is a record that they’re returning to work voluntarily, knowing there are added risks.

This is a great opportunity to revamp anything else in your employee handbook. Get a conversation started and make sure you’re all on the same page. Go over your local laws and new policies and communicate clearly. 

The last thing you want is liability if your staff get sick or for them to imply they were fired because they were concerned about COVID-19. Potential liability will vary depending on if they’re contractors or employees and working at-will or not. If you’re concerned check the specifics with a lawyer.

GET EVERYTHING UP TO DATE AND SIGNED:

This is a great time to re-evaluate your agreements so everything is how you actually want it. Consult with a lawyer and make sure your agreement is perfect for this time AND moving forward. Things like incremental payments, force majeure and other legal details can make a big difference for your yoga studio!

Credit card companies decide if members can have charges voided based on the exact contract wording. If you have a big event planned that’s cancelled because of something you can’t anticipate (like a shelter-in-place law) this could make or break you. It’s not about locking members into paying you, it’s about clear communication from the start.

Truth → The best opportunity to have anyone re-sign an agreement is RIGHT NOW!

Everyone is re-evaluating their systems and agreements to get them ready for reopening. Your members and employees get it. They’re probably expecting it. This is your opportunity to make sure everything is ultra-clear. It could even be a great time to transition contractors to employees if that’s been in your plans.

AUTOMATE YOUR WAIVER SIGN IN FOR MEMBERS:

Send out an email using WaiverKing or DocuSign and get the agreement out of the way before your members even show up at the studio. Then use email automation to send out reminders to anyone who hasn’t opened the attachment. Getting it done outside the studio will make things MUCH easier on opening day.

Truth → Signing the waiver is not optional!

Catch anyone who hasn’t signed yet with an iPad at the front desk. If they haven’t signed it they can’t practice at your studio. Period. Don’t let anyone come in for drop-ins either. Keep everything streamlined so your members are safe and you’ve covered yourself for anything unexpected.

Once you’ve crossed your T’s and dotted your I’s your yoga studio is ready for an epic reopening!

⭐️Learn how to successfully re-open your studio step-by-step with the Re-Open Your Studio Strong Challenge!

And for more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, the Re-Open Strong Challenge, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

Position your virtual library to support your brick-and-mortar yoga studio

Position your virtual library to support your brick-and-mortar yoga studio

Setting up a virtual yoga studio might not have been in your plans, but you have one now. Yoga studio owners around the world had to transition to online classes to make their studio work during this challenging time.

It was unexpected – maybe even unpleasant – to try new technology and expand into the virtual marketplace. But now that you’re there… you can take advantage of exciting new opportunities.

Truth → With the right positioning, your online classes can drive membership sales.

You may be tempted to step away from video recording all together once your studio opens again. That’s a mistake. A strong virtual yoga library is a MAJOR value add for your studio membership. Think of it as a tool to drive your membership sales.

Your virtual studio exists to support your in-person membership

Selling memberships is all about communicating value. If all people wanted was to do some stretching postures at home, they’d look up a few free videos and call it a day. Your members come to you because your studio offers them something special.

They value the community, experience and expertise that you offer. People are sold on emotion, not logic. Your members believe a regular practice at your studio will make their lives better – more balanced, healthy, relaxed. They’ll in turn be able to better care for their families.

Truth → An on demand video library is another way you can show up for your members.

Knowing you offer an on demand video library with membership shows you have a comprehensive, holistic view of their health. Even if they don’t participate very actively in your online studio, it adds value to your membership. This feature can get people over the hump to sign up, especially if they live further away.

Your virtual studio has to be high quality

The virtual yoga library you’ve created is its own product line. Even though its primary purpose is growing your membership, it has to stand on its own two feet. It’s time to up your game.

Truth → People accepted lower quality video during quarantine; they won’t forever.

You had to pivot quickly while your yoga studio was closed. Your members understand that you weren’t any more prepared for a global pandemic than they were. If your video was a little rough or the sound quality was just okay – they got it.

Now it’s time to up your game. Moving forward your virtual studio must be at a higher standard. If members are paying for it as a value add they expect it to add value. The good news is, you probably won’t be running online classes.

Shooting on demand videos is easier to fit into your schedule, and you have more time to test your setup. If the video looks a bit off, don’t post it. Make sure your on demand library lives up to the experience your members expect every time they walk into your studio.

Don’t devalue your virtual studio.

Don’t get caught in a race to the bottom. You’re not competing with larger virtual brands that charge $5 a month. Their business model is to get as many people around the country or globe as possible to make those numbers work. Yours is locally focused.

A virtual studio isn’t just a small perk members get when they sign up. It can be much more than that. Your expertise is valuable. Members show up because of the unique experience they get at YOUR studio doing yoga you’re an expert in. An ultra-low price point undermines your value message.

Truth → A quality virtual studio can also be used as a down sell or a stand alone product.

Post quality content regularly and your virtual studio can be more than an addition to your membership. You can offer it as a stand-alone product for members who live farther away. Try throwing in a few live classes a month with it and price it lower than an all included membership.

For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the YC Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

What to do with online classes when your yoga studio reopens.

What to do with online classes when your yoga studio reopens.

As life altering as social distancing has been for your studio, it’s temporary. You’ve weathered the storm and shown true leadership when your community needed you the most. Now it’s time to plan the transition back into your physical location. 

Things won’t automatically be the same as they were before social distancing. But that can be a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to take a hard look at your studio. What’s working? What isn’t?

Truth → Your community has changed, it’s time to change with it.

Doing what you’ve always done because you’ve always done it has never been a good option, and it’s a recipe for disaster after the stress and overhaul of social distancing.

Truth → To make your studio the best it can be, you need strong vision. 

Were you intentional when you set your class schedule and pricing? Or did you go with what everyone else was doing? Do you have a vision for your studio over the next 3 years? 5-10? Now is the time to make impactful changes and move the needle.

How do online classes fit into your studio vision?

You may not have had online yoga classes before, but you certainly do now. Social distancing forced yoga studios that weren’t ever planning to go online to get there and encouraged others to move up the timetable. It hasn’t always been an easy transition, but we’re here now. What does that mean for the future?

Reopening studios will change the virtual class landscape. Right now, the bar is pretty low for live streaming video and sound quality. Your members know you’ve been pushed into online with no time to prepare. They probably won’t be as understanding a few months from now.

Truth → If you choose to keep video on demand and livestream going you will have to up the quality.

Investing in a better camera, backdrop, lights or sound may be worth it for your studio. If you’re having really high engagement with your online offerings members might be clamoring to keep it. Keep in mind, it will be much harder to navigate an online schedule and an in person schedule. Is it worth it to your clients?

Truth → Dropping live stream but keeping a video on demand library is a simple way to add value to your membership.

Splitting the difference and keeping video on demand while dropping the live stream will take some of the pressure off. Filming can be worked around your studio class schedule so you have options. Plus once a bank is created you won’t need to add new classes as often.

Having video on demand ups the value bar for your membership. Depending on your location you could even explore a virtual membership with limited monthly classes. Now you’ve expanded your geographical area.

How far would someone drive to take class two times a week? How far for two classes a month if they also had virtual class options? Your members would rather take a virtual class on demand with a teacher they have met and know is high quality.

WILL online yoga classes fit into your studio vision?

Some of you are counting the days to turn off online classes and never look back. There is a play here, but you have to lean ALL THE WAY in. People are used to having online options, especially those in their 20s who have grown up with a computer in their pocket.

If you drop online classes, be intentional and explain why. Make it a selling point.

The line between online versus offline reality is very thin right now, and it has always been for a lot of younger people. The risk is you will be incongruent with how people normally experience most of what they do. Depending on your market, that can also be a positive selling point.

Weigh your options against your bigger vision and what’s happening in your local market. Make sure your studio is heading in the direction you want. Now is the time to make the changes you’ve been hesitant about with little to no pushback.

For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included in the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these lives webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.

➡️ To access the Bootcamp Webinars and so much more, sign up here.

Read More

Everything you need to know about running a yoga studio during social distancing

Everything you need to know about running a yoga studio during social distancing

The world doesn’t look the same as it did a few months ago. Sheltering in place, social distancing, and cancelled plans are the current “normal” and that’s shaking things up for all of us – including yoga studio owners. 

These are the situations that test us, as individuals and as business owners. Right now, you’re facing unprecedented challenges. How will you keep your yoga studio alive and support your community through this uncertain time?

Truth → How you navigate this crisis will define your business going forward.

Your studio community needs you to remain calm and provide stability. They are confused, stressed and stuck at home. Now more than ever, they need yoga.

But you can’t provide the support your community needs without a clear, actionable plan. It’s time to get clear on your finances, goals and next steps. IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION.

STEP 1: Get your studio online

Are online classes new to you? You’re not alone. Yoga studios are shuttering their brick-and-mortar locations to keep their community safe. It’s time to take the leap into a new type of class.

DON’T OVERTHINK IT! The most important thing is to get yourself out there. Don’t spend too long curating the perfect system or you’ll never start. Your community needs you, and they need you now. Launching is EVERYTHING.

Truth → Your community doesn’t expect perfection. They expect you to show up.

When this is all over, no one will remember if your first class was a little wonky. They’re not checking your camera angle or critiquing your sound quality. What your members want is something that will keep their minds and bodies occupied during this uncertain, stressful time. That’s what they’ll remember.

You can start out as simple as you need to in order to get online. Even if you’ve never live streamed anything before, I bet you have all the technology you need right at your fingertips. This can be as simple as a Facebook Live on your cellphone if it needs to be.

Start wherever you’re at and then make it better each time. For simple ways to up-level your setup and sharing platforms, check out “How do I take my yoga studio online?” Just because you start simple, doesn’t mean you have to stay there.

STEP 2: Create a new class schedule

Online classes are VERY different than in person classes. Beyond the obvious challenges of camera set up and uploading, the atmosphere is entirely changed. You’re competing with different things now.

In the past, getting to your studio classes meant members had to work around their schedule, drive across town, find parking, and finally set up their yoga mat in a dedicated space. The challenge was physically walking through the door. By the time they unrolled their mat, they were ready to concentrate in a space dedicated exclusively to their yoga practice.

Now they’re in their living rooms. Getting there is easy… staying focused is HARD. You’re competing with a million distractions from family members to chores to hobbies to grabbing a snack. Besides, they know they can catch the recording later… procrastination is alive and well, even when we’re bored at home.

Truth → Life has changed for your community; so should your class schedule.

Try switching up your schedule with shorter classes that work around their new life. This is where it’s important to know your community. If you have a lot of moms, try classes before or after the kids are up. If you have a lot of college students, early classes probably won’t fill.

Play with it. Figure out what works for your community. Get creative about meeting their needs in this changing world. Observe what people like and notice what doesn’t seem as popular with your members…and then do more of what works. 

For more ideas, check out “What’s the ideal online yoga class schedule?”

STEP 3: Prepare to shift membership pricing

You’re probably concerned members won’t be able to pay – that cancelations will start rolling in by the dozens. First off – Don’t panic. You may be tempted to drop your pricing preemptively, but DON’T.

Truth → Don’t change your pricing until your members ask for it.

Keep your pricing where it is for as long as you can but be prepared to change it. If you lose a few of your members – even a quarter of them – you’re still making more money than if you dropped everything to half price. There’s a sweet spot with pricing.

Create a down-sell option for your members. Retention is VERY important right now, much more important than it was before social distancing. People are going to want to cancel. Think about this conversation ahead of time. Know what to say to them.

Make the conversation about your members and what they need, not about the cancelation. Create a special relief offer for members trying to quit. Give them access to a discounted membership until in person classes are up and running again.

Truth → Not all your members have to pay the same.

Think about it… your members are ALREADY paying different prices. Some are on an autopay, some a yearly membership, some grabbed a special sale or intro rate. There are a variety of price points already. Take some time to decide internally what your discount is for members who are looking to cancel.

Ultimately, you’ll need to create a virtual membership. The key is to keep it simple and avoid competing with your existing members who are willing to pay the regular price. They exist, I promise.

This comes down to a communication and marketing issue. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking what you offer isn’t worth much because it’s online. You’re offering something different, but the community and your expertise is still valuable. For tips on making the shift, check out “How do I shift my membership pricing for online yoga classes?”

STEP 4: Look for ways to limit your expenses

Cutting your expenses is easier said than done, but every dollar is important right now. Make sure you’re not spending money on anything that’s not essential. Things are tight, and your rainy-day fund will only stretch so far.

Take a look at all your big expenses – business loans and other debt, rent and payroll. What changes can you make to keep your studio strong? Most of your biggest expenses seem set in stone, but these are unique times and there is a little wiggle room.

Truth → Right now EVERYTHING can be negotiated.

Most countries and states have programs available to help small businesses and landlords and banks are probably willing to work with you. Interest rates are incredibly low right now and there are assistance programs in place. You may be able to refinance or qualify for a new low-interest loan. It never hurts to ask.

Truth → Ask BEFORE you get to a place of desperation.

Your landlord might be getting a break on their mortgage because of the financial instability caused by COVID-19. They might be open to payment flexibility or negotiation – especially if your studio is an anchor store. Those spots are hard to fill in the best of times, much less during a stay-at-home order.

Keeping your studio in their building is a win for both of you. When you talk to your landlord keep it professional. Let them know you have plans to keep your studio strong for the long-haul. Invite them to partner with you for both your benefit.

Truth → Restructuring your payroll is never easy, but it’s necessary.

Once you get your rent and loans sorted it’s time to think about your payroll. It’s going to shrink somewhat as you transition to online classes and cut the daily class load. Without the studio to maintain, your other support staff won’t need as many hours either.

If that’s not enough, then it’s time to have a difficult conversation with your staff. Make sure your staff knows you want to stand by them as much as you can but the same level of payroll simply might not be possible right now. Make sure you clearly communicate changes during this time. For more guidance check out “How can I lower my yoga studio’s expenses?”

Step 5: Communicate openly and frequently

Communication has never been more essential. Things are changing every day. Everyone is overwhelmed and stressed by challenges they weren’t expecting. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open – with your studio community, and ESPECIALLY with your staff.

Truth → For your staff, feeling supported is the most important thing right now.

Your staff are hearing lots of conflicting information about unemployment, assistance programs and how social distancing will last. They might be unsure how to pay their bills or what will happen to your studio. Take the time to research legislation in your area, so you have the answers they need.

Be honest and control the narrative. Make sure they know you’re a team. The studio’s survival and success is in everyone’s best interest. Brainstorm ways to get them involved with your online classes.

Truth → Your staff didn’t start teaching yoga for the money.

Everyone who works at your studio is there because they believe in the life-changing power of yoga. Challenges like this have the power to pull you all together around a common cause – like your studio. You need each other now more than ever, and it’s up to you to stay calm and supportive. Click here to learn more about managing your studio staff during COVID-19.

STEP 6: Ask for the help you need

Finances still a bit tight? Cutting expenses can be a big help, but it isn’t always enough. Your studio is facing a completely unexpected financial hurdle. You’re not alone. This crisis has caused unprecedented financial and social instability around the world.

The good news is everyone else is in the same boat… so you have a lot of options.

The Small Business Administration provides several kinds of loans that can help. There are a couple options open specifically to deal with the impact of COVID-19. One option is a Disaster Relief Loan. These loans have been around for a while to deal with unexpected natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, and they are now available to help with COVID-19 related losses.

Truth → A low-interest loan can ease your financial stress.

A Disaster Relief Loan can be used for day-to-day expenses like rent and payroll. You may be able to get an Express Bridge Loan while you wait for the Disaster Relief Loan to go through. These loans bridge the gap with emergency funds of up to $25K, as long as you have a prior relationship with an SBA lender. Try checking with your back to see if they’re an SBA lender.

With recent laws, such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act there are even more options for small businesses. Keeping your cash flow healthy can be the difference between staying in business or going under. Apply for help if you need it!

CARES is designed to give our economy a helping hand during the pandemic. Many individual Americans benefited from stimulus funds, expanded unemployment and medical leave. You’ve likely received a stimulus check… or you will soon.

You might not realize this… the stimulus package also created options for small businesses. The biggest is the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help your studio keep up with payroll, rent and other bills. Congress recently allocated a second round of funding for this program, so this is a good time to apply! 

Truth → This program is unique because it hands out loans you might not have to pay back.

Depending on how you use the loan, it may be forgiven and become a grant. That’s an AMAZING opportunity to get your business the cash you need. CARES can also help you get a better tax return for 2019 because it allows you to carry business losses from this time back to 2019. For help deciphering which option is right for you check out “How the CARES Act can help your yoga studio.”

Reminder: Don’t forget to take care of yourself

You’re facing unprecedented challenges as a studio owner. It’s natural to feel some stress, overwhelm, and even fear. Hold space for yourself to process those emotions. Hold on to what matters to you personally. You started your business with a purpose and a mission. The work you do is important… so don’t give up hope! 

Self-care is VITAL. You cannot take care of your community or your business if you’re not taking care of yourself. Keep breathing, meditate and do what brings you joy. Remember you’re not alone. We’ve got your back with helpful resources to get your through this time stronger than ever.

Struggling to adjust your studio to social distancing rules? Confused about what to do next to keep your studio running? Join the Yogapreneur Collective and access our YC Bootcamp Webinars: How to Open your Studio Strong Post-COVID so you can respond with confidence and keep money coming into your studio during this time. Take action now! Click here to get started! 

Read More

Join the Reopen Your Studio Strong Challenge